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Random Thoughts from a Random Guy

Remembering 9/11

I can’t believe 10 years have already passed since terrorists boarded airplanes and brought them crashing into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and an empty field in Pennsylvania. In some ways it seemed like it was just yesterday, in other ways 9/11/01 feels like it was a lifetime ago.

We were living in West Lafayette, Indiana at the time.  Ethan was 20 months old, Mason was a day shy of turning 2 months.  I was producing weekends at the time, and reporting three days a week.  Tuesdays and Wednesdays were my Saturdays and Sundays.  On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, I had gotten up earlier than I normally did, because despite being my day off I still had to go into work for a meeting about the station’s website.

I remember turning on the TV to the Early Show (I worked for a CBS affiliate, that’s why I watched it)  and Bryant Gumbel was reporting that a plane had hit one of the Twin Towers.   My first thought was, “must have been an accident”, because at first glance, the plane didn’t look that big.  Then a few minutes later the second plane hit, and I began to worry like everyone else.  I hopped in the car and headed to the station, listening to CBS News on the radio.  On my way, initial reports were coming out that a helicopter had crashed at the Pentagon.  Of course that turned out to be wrong, it was another plane.

Ethan laying a carnation on a beam from the World Trade Center

Ethan laying a carnation on a beam from the World Trade Center

Needless to say, the meeting was cancelled.  They actually sent me home, although I had offered to stay and report on all the local things going on associated with the attacks.  You’ll remember, gas prices sky rocketed in the rush for fuel, and we had a city council member who had a family member who was on the NYFD.  He died that day.

Miller boy, Mason, Ethan, and Miller boy at the ceremony on 9/11/02

Miller boy, Mason, Ethan, and Miller boy at the ceremony on 9/11/02

From that tragedy, the cities of West Lafayette and Lafayette came together to honor the victims.  On the one year anniversary, a piece of the steel from the Twin Towers was put on display.  Hundreds of people showed up on the pedestrian bridge that connected the two cities.  The event also connected many lives, not just in Greater Lafayette, but all over the country.  I covered that ceremony, and the dedication of a sculpture that was put in place to commemorate 9/11/01.

Lisa brought the boys to the ceremony.  I found a couple of the pictures from that day.  Everyone was given a red, white, or blue carnation to lay on the steel beam.  The boys don’t remember 9/11/01 obviously, nor do they remember that ceremony.  But they do ask questions about that day.  Lisa and I are truthful with them and explain what happened.  Mason even has a friend who was born on 9/11 and I did a news story on him earlier in the week.  Brooke of course wasn’t even alive then.  She hasn’t really asked much about it, she just knew to wear something red, white, and blue to school last week on Friday.  She chose her Uncle Sam Mickey Mouse tshirt.
We’re not in West Lafayette anymore, and while the commemoration is not as grand as the events in Indiana, it’s no less significant.  I’m proud that the kids get a chance to pay tribute and honor a day that many of them are too young to remember.  Watching the tributes on the news and seeing some of the archived footage at the station gives me goosebumps.  At one point I had tears in my eyes again.

So, take a minute today if you haven’t already to remember the men, women, and children who died ten years ago today.  Remember the heroes that helped the survivors and gave their own lives that die.  And remember the men and women who signed up to serve our country as a result of those attacks.

God bless the USA!

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One Response to “Remembering 9/11”

  1. I just found your blog- & well, its not like I couldn’t have stated this on your facebook 🙂 I do remember where & what was happening on that day like everyone else. I was at my, then, full time job at the daycare & when parents came in to drop off kids there was panic about even leaving them & if they would be the first parents we would call if something should happen. I remember that so many rumors were happening all over & it was hard to get a clear story. We were told to keep kid appropriate conversations only & not turn up the radios. I was also angry that my boss wouldn’t let me leave to check on my kids who were in a different town & school district. My husband called & said that there was some extra protection over Carbondale’s water plants. ( He works for C’Dale city) There was fear all over that people were going to poision it as well- I guess because of the college & the amount of Muslums there. Although it is a vivid memory, it is even more of a care today. As you know my daughter is in the ROTC program at SIU & has considered joining the National Gaurd. Her boyfriend has already signed up with the Army & is starting his 4 year term when he graduates. Before it was something that was happening in our nation, now all these years later, it is becoming more personal.


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