I did yesterday what many of us probably did. I sat with my 15 year old daughter most of the day watching the tributes and memorials dedicated to the victims and heroes of September 11, 2001.

9-11. It is a day that will live sadly in many of our memories for the rest of our lives. I remember that day like it was yesterday. A peaceful and sunny Tuesday morning. I was off that day and sleeping in. At about 8:20 am I was awakened from a sound sleep by my almost hysterical wife. She was shaking me and telling me that I had to get up and come see the television. A plane had flown into the World Trade Center.

I groggily pulled on my sweats and a tee shirt and made my way to the living room. I was thinking the entire time “OK, some small plane had crashed into the building. No big deal”

I got to the living room, coffee in hand, and felt my knees almost completely go out from under me. The pictures on the tv were unbelievable. I looked and saw the massive plumes of black smoke coming from near the top of the building. I knew in my heart that no small plane could have possibly done that much damage. It looked like a rocket had hit the tower.

A few moments later the second jet hit the second tower. My mouth went completely dry and I realized in my heart that this was some kind of planned operation. I sat the coffee down and called work to see if I was needed there. I was told no to stay home with my family. I would be called if anything changed.

I think I would rather have went to work.

The things that happened in the minutes and hours that followed were the most horrifying events of my life. The towers fell one after another. People running in complete chaos at times. Another plane hitting the Pentagon. Confusion, fear, and anger. Another plane going down in a field supposedly brought down by the civilian passengers on board. I sat with my family and watched.

I remember going to the local Wal Mart later that afternoon. There was traffic on the roads yet everything seemed so…quiet. It was at that moment I realized exactly what the word “surreal” meant.

The next day at work I printed off the picture above. Underneath it I typed the words:

We Shall NEVER Forget

That picture still hangs on the wall of the Special Housing Unit till this day.

So I sat and watched yesterday. I answered my daughter’s questions. We cried together remembering. We drank in the tragedy of that fateful morning. There were times I walked to the computer to write this post and the emotions running through me were simply too overwhelming for an attempt at writing.

Ten years later. That amazes and saddens me. An act of senseless violence ten years ago is still costing the lives of our sons, daughters, wives, husbands, mothers and fathers serving in the military today. We got Saddam. We got Bin Ladin. It’s time to bring our families home. It’s time to find new ways to combat terrorism. Our troops have done an outstanding job in this long war. It’s time we bring them home and put an end to this phase of The War On Terrorism.

There will be some out there who disagree with me. That’s fine. It’s your right to have your opinion. The events of 9-11 left a scar on the very soul of this nation. It’s time to start letting that scar and our nation heal.

I honor the memory of every single person that perished that day. My heart goes out to the families and loved ones who lost people they loved and cared about that day. My heart goes out to the families of our troops who have also lost those they loved. My best friend’s son served. He saved his Sargent’s life when their convoy was ambushed. He came home and six months later killed himself. I honor and respect the memories of all those who have been lost. And to those who still serve, thank you for the sacrifices you make every day. You will always be heroes

  1. September 12, 2011 at 8:01 am

    bows humble (~_~)

  2. September 15, 2011 at 2:01 am

    Sensei, your words have such a humbling effect on me. I was still in elementary when it happened, dressing up to go to school, and watching CNN as I put on my socks. ( My mother turns on TV to watch the early morning news, but ironically, she was doing other things and wasn’t aware something was going on, while i was too young, I guess, to know . ) I was actually watching the news… it was 6:30 Am… when my aunt from the Philippines called and broke out the news to Mom. ” TURN ON THE TV !” she yelled on the phone.

    Anyway, I also admire that you want the troops to come back home now. I wholeheartedly agree. It’s about time these countries stand on their own. Every single day that our troops stay there puts each soldier in mortal danger. Enough already.

    Thanks for sharing, sensei.

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