Like we often do with important days, such as when man first stepped on the moon and JFK’s assassination, I remember clearly where I was on 9/11/2001. That day changed life as we knew it and affected me in a way that would soon be made clear.
That morning started as did the few days before it. I was lying in a hospital bed in a great deal of pain recovering from open heart surgery. The pain of having the chest split in two is as bad as you think.
Lying in bed watching the small TV up on the wall was the only way to pass the time, and that’s what I was doing when the program was interrupted to show the unthinkable, one of the World Towers in New York after a commercial jet flew into it.
That led to me, as I’m sure it did for many, to wonder how such a horrible accident like this could happen. That thought didn’t last long, when the camera recording the event showed a second jet flying into the second tower. I remember clearly saying to the screen “My God, it’s deliberate!”
The whole hospital went into a tizzy as word quickly spread. What was going on in NYC? Plus, those of us with family and friends in NYC went into panic wondering what was happening there. It didn’t help that the TV showed the impact of the second jet over and over.
What happened next was a shock. My surgeon blew into the room and told me to get ready to go home. They had been told to discharge all patients who were not in a life-threatened condition. He told me this as he quickly pulled the two drainage tubes out of my abdomen. I remember almost passing out from the pain.
It didn’t take long to realize how unready to go home I was. Between the constant fatigue and pain I nearly passed out dozens of times on the way home.
Thankfully, I soon bounced back. While this was faster for me than New York City, in time it did too. The incident of 9/11 showed that the American spirit is alive and well.
Where were you when you heard about 9/11?