Admittedly, I did almost forget that it was 9/11 this morning. It started off like any morning really – hotel alarm goes off at 5:30 AM – make my way down to the valet, grab the car and head to the airport. Houston traffic was ‘usual’ I suppose – busy in some areas but I was going away from it so didn’t hit any of it. Security was a little backed up (but not unusual in Houston at that time of the morning). I must say Houston has one of the worst security areas I’ve been through – its a frustration every time but made my way through it with plenty of time before my flight. As I cleared security I was relieved to hit the Starbucks for some much needed coffee. All of the ‘normalness’ changed at 7:46 central standard time while standing in line for coffee in the terminal.
An announcement came over the loud speaker and the star spangled banner began playing. Everyone stopped what they were doing, stood up/removed their hats/placed their hands over their hearts…whatever. I’ve never witnessed anything like it. Most of the time in an airport the hustle and bustle can be overwhelming if you’ve never done it but aside from the sound of the Star Spangled Banner you could hear a pin drop. No one said a word, no one appeared offended…instead we all found one of the strategically placed American flags throughout the terminal and reflected in our own way. I remembered being a naive 21 year-old college kid – I was living in my parents basement (stayed local for college) and coming up the stairs around fifteen minutes after the first plane struck and seeing my parents crying and not knowing what was going on. At that point we all just thought it was a tragedy – we were mourning those that died but unaware of what would happen at 9:03, 9:37 and 10:03. I sat home for several hours watching the coverage and becoming more and more confused/angry/sorrowful. Ultimately, as details continued to emerge it was clear that we would never be the same again. It speaks to the resilience of our nation that we are rebuilding and not going to back down – this should open in 2014 as the largest building in New York City and the third tallest building in the world.
Time Lapse video of the Building of One World Trade Center (i.e. Freedom Tower)
Photo of the Day – Never Forget
The Iwo Jima Memorial in Washington DC. I’ve never been to New York and didn’t get any good shots of the Pentagon while in DC but felt this was an appropriate picture for the day even if it doesn’t apply to 9/11.