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...: Marsh Chatter

September 11, 2001

I know people who were directly affected at the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

My wife contacted me at work and let me know that a plane crashed into the WTC. I of course figured it was a joke, or was just someone in a small prop-job not thinking straight. So I immediately hit the Internet to see what the news channel sites had posted. Alas, my suspicions were raised because the sites did not respond. I hung up the phone and I went up to the conference room where people were already gathering around a TV that did not even have an antenna. Yet, because we were 7 floors up in downtown Kalamazoo with windows pointing toward the ABC station in Battle Creek we could actually get a signal that was watchable.

Like others around the nation - watch we did. We watched the 2nd plane fly into/through the second tower. We watched as each tower tumbled to the ground. And then we watched more. Although we were detached, being in "middle America" - we discussed what was happening to those in the towers - having shortly before that watched Kalamazoo's finest firefighters respond to our little 8-story building for a drill. How tired they were, climbing to the 7th floor in full gear going up the 90+ year old narrow stairs as we were going down. We could only imagine and comment on how those fire fighters in New York were going up 60, 70, or 80 floors - in full gear!

Not long after of course, the Pentagon was struck and the TV coverage switched or split-screen to that location. News organizations could not keep up with the flow of news. Was a report valid, should we go to air with it. I continued to monitor the Internet, slow as it was.

Someone I worked with when I was in the Navy was a member of the Pentagon Naval contingent. I later found out, this area was hit hard by the crash. By chance, he was attending an early morning meeting far enough away from the crash zone; alas he lost many friends & co-workers.

Like others around the nation - our employers not long after issued a voice mail to let us know we were free to go home to our families. We did. And then we all continued to watch.

Many gave up watching and remembering, over the years.

I continue to remember AND watch - but mostly because I still cannot believe people of the world - in the 21st Century - would be this stupid. Not out of naivety, but out of "can we all just grow up, get along, and move the human experience forward". Alas, I guess it really is the former…

Eagle carrying U.S. Flag w/shadow portraits of soldiersYou are wrong if you want to forget. That just enables the "fringe" to try harder to put it in front of you again. Maybe the next time, you will be directly affected and you won't be able to forget! I feel sorry for you if that's what it takes.

Until then, the U.S. will just carry you like always.

To my fellow Sisters & Brothers in the military - strength begets peace. Thank you!

Never forget!