Where Were You 14 Years Ago Today?
It's officially called "Patriot Day", but everyone knows it by three numbers. 9-1-1.
It really did change everything, and if you don't believe me, book a flight and then go to the airport. There's a lot of younger members of our audience who think we've always had to take off our shoes and belt and go through the kind of security checks we do....but no, that's all because of that one day. The travel bottles, the clear bags to put the travel bottles in........
I don't know about you, but I remember September 11, 2001 vividly.
I was living in Seattle at the time, working part-time at Kiss 106.1 (the Q92.3 of Seattle, I even posted an aircheck as part of a "Throwback Thursday" a while back). You see, when radio people move up to the bigger markets (Seattle is the 13th-largest in the country) sometimes you have to start as a part-timer and get a "real job" on the side to pay the bills.
My "real job" was as assistant manager at a sports apparel store called "The Sports Den" downtown. Made some good friendships from there, people I am still friends with today.
Monday, September 10 I was at the radio station late at night, watching the Monday Night Football game, I remember the Giants were playing, doing some promotional thing -- as a part-timer you never said no; you did anything and everything and you dropped everything if they wanted you to do something, to get hours and impress the higher-ups so they'd give you more airtime -- and even though I had to get up early the next morning I didn't care.
So I drag my butt out of bed on Tuesday morning at around 8 (this is Pacific time mind you), eat a quick breakfast, shower, brush my teeth, kiss my future ex-wife goodbye, and catch a King County Metro city bus from our picturesque apartment in West Seattle that had a view of the Puget Sound to downtown. Store opens at 10. All hell has broken loose, both towers have already fallen, and I am completely oblivious. I am in my own little world. I encounter people on the bus, and they all seem just as completely oblivious as I am.
I get to the store and prep it for opening. One of the first things I do is turn on the big TV in the front of the store, and make sure it is set to ESPN. SportsCenter is on, and I immediately start scanning the scroll at the bottom to find out who the Twins are playing tonight.
That's when I stopped being oblivious. All MLB games were cancelled. I didn't know why, and immediately set out to find out why.
I found out why. I'm sure a lot of people were made less oblivious in a similar fashion, just farting around on TV or online with the stuff that interests them, and reality interrupted. I got a phone call from Crystal at home, and she was crying. I think I may have cried a little too. Neither of us knew anyone who died, neither of us had ever been to New York, but somehow this affected us personally.
It still does.
Don't believe me? Bingewatch some "Friends" episodes on TBS or on Netflix, or any movie made in the 1990s or earlier that was set in New York.
Thank a first responder today. They are the people who risk their lives for you, that's why when I hear about people ambushing police officers it offends me. They see things most of us don't have the stomach to see, and they kiss their families goodbye before going to work knowing they may never get to do it again.
Governor Branstad has all flags at half-staff in Iowa today, and is suggesting all schools, businesses, and anyone with an American flag to fly it at half-staff today to honor the people who lost their lives. I hope we can also honor the people who lived but risked everything to try and keep someone out of a coffin.
Never forget. Some of us can't, even when we try.