I was in a plane flying over Colorado on that day when the pilot came on the PA and said there we were in a state of national emergency and all planes in US airspace were being forced to land, with no further details given. Talk about pucker factor – I thought “nuclear weapons” initially until one of the passengers was able to get his roommate on the one of those “air phones”. He was told that a p
lane had struck the WTC before he was disconnected about 10 seconds later. I then immediately thought Osama bin Laden, thinking back to the earlier bombing attempt, I wish I wasn’t right about that one. Two passengers then started loudly arguing about Israel and Palestine and had to be separated by a stewardess. About 2 minutes later (only 5 minutes since the announcement by the pilot!) we were on the ground in Colorado Springs having descended almost 40,000 feet in that short time. Right as we stepped off the plane we turned a corner towards a terminal restaurant TV that was displaying the events unfolding in NY. Literally 30 seconds later the first tower fell. I immediately started thinking about my 8 months pregnant wife back in MI, who had woken me up in the middle of the night bawling just hours before, telling me not to get on the plane – maybe she knew something. The whole thing was really weird too, because I was traveling a lot back then and she never had a problem with me leaving before (or since)! It’s just surreal how vivid all those memories still are eleven years later.