While I have no personal connection to anyone who perished, I still choke up every time I think about that day. I was in my first year of my dream job at the time as a retail sales rep with a major food manufacturer. While working in a Wal-Mart in rural Ohio, a passing customer asked “did you hear what happened?”. I did not but immediately found myself in the electronics department with virtually all store associates and customers watching the events unfold on television. After the second tower fell I left the store, headed straight home having only completed half of my responsibilities for the day.
I spent the next three days watching television and at times uncontrollably weeping while filled with feelings of anger, sadness, and patriotism. Since then I have made a conscious effort to share my experiences with my children who were only toddlers in 2001.
When my oldest daughter, now 18, was given an assignment about an American Hero, she didn’t choose Abe Lincoln, JFK, or any other obvious choice, she chose Todd Beamer and wrote an essay about why Todd is a hero for his role on United flight 93. I and the teacher were so moved, my daughters essay was called out to the entire school as an example of how many heros there were during the events of 9/11 and the months/years that followed. This remains one of the proudest moments i have had as a parent and an American.
I will never forget that day and the impact it had on my family.