Originally Published: September 10, 2012 2:01 p.m.
I was on the way to work the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. As I passed Buchanan Drive on Williamson Valley Road, the radio station's announcer came on saying, in a confused tone, that a plane had struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center. It was just before 6 a.m. (the plane crashed into the building at 5:46 Arizona time).
I thought, "What kind of pilot cannot fly and avoid buildings?"
Just before I arrived at the Courier's downtown offices, the same voice reported, in an upset tone, that a second plane had hit the World Trade Center, this time the South Tower. Time: 6:15 a.m. (actual impact, 6:03 Arizona time).
It was then that I realized - along with everyone else - once could have been a mistake or accident, twice is on purpose.
It continued from there at 6:37 a.m. and 7:03 a.m. with the crashes at the Pentagon and near Shanksville, Pa., respectively.
We often recall exactly where we were when famous people died (I was in the front yard of my childhood home when news of Elvis Presley's death came out, and was sitting in a car with my brother when John Lennon's killing was announced).
The events of 9/11 took the shock of those passings to a new and different level.
"We are now touchable," a friend reminded me that Tuesday afternoon, dispelling the false sense of security my generation had become used to believing. I think it may have compared with the attacks on Pearl Harbor; however, I cannot say for sure.
What do you remember? Where were you? Which day stands out most to you?
In honor of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, remember not to let the fear overtake your thoughts. Stand tall, never forget, and know that the American spirit may bend - but it does not break.