Remembering 9/11

It’s been eight years since September 11, 2001.  It is a day that no one will ever forget.  Speaking with scores of people in various states, the sentiments all seem to be the same.  Everyone remembers where they were when the tragic events transpired that day.

I personally was living in New York on Long Island as a young Marine Staff Sergeant. I was a combat correspondent and happened to be driving over the Verrazano Bridge coming from Brooklyn and going to Staten Island.  I was on my way to take photos of a Marine recruiter that had recently achieved an outstanding award.

As I was driving across the bridge I was listening to the traffic report on KNX-1070 (traffic report is mandatory when driving in NYC), and heard the North Tower was hit by a low flying aircraft.

Looking over my shoulder I could see one tower engulfed in flames. I quickly drove into Staten Island and parked in the harbor looking across the waterway to lower Manhattan and started taking photos.  It was mass chaos with emergency vehicles scrambling to the scene. Then the second plane hit. It was at that point everyone knew this was deliberate and we were under attack.

Soon after, the Pentagon was hit. Then the last hijacked plane crashed in a desolate field in Pennsylvania.  My thought while I watched the two towers burn was, how the hell will they be able to put the fire out??? Once the buildings collapsed it was at that point I knew we as a country would never be the same.

The next day I went down to Ground Zero and took hundreds of photos.  Out of all the photos I took, this one was ironically inspiring to me.  There stood the American Flag, proudly whipping in the wind right next to the remains of the World Trade Center.  To me this showed the world our resolve as a country and our relentless will to fight.

I will never forget the thousands of innocent people that died that day.

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