For my grandparents, it was the bombing of Pearl Harbor; for my parents it was the assassination of JFK and for my generation it was 9/11. I will never forget what transpired that September Tuesday back in 2011.
I was fresh out of Washington State University and was working as a reporter for The Peninsula Gateway, a weekly newspaper in Gig Harbor. It was my mom who burst into my room at 5:59 am. I was so angry that she woke me up EARLY. She said that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. As she turned on my little 13-inch television I couldn't believe what I was seeing. As I jumped out of my bed to get a closer look at the television is when I saw the second plane hit the second World Trade Center tower.
I wasn't sure how to react; whether to cry or scream. I was in the shower when a third hijacked plane hit the Pentagon. My mom knocked on the bathroom door to tell me. I watched in horror at 6:59 am when Tower 2 collapsed. My initial thoughts were about all of those people in the towers and surrounding buildings on the ground and aboard the planes. I couldn't understand how someone could do this to thousands of innocent people.
Then 4 minutes later, United Flight #93 crashed in Pennsylvania.
Finally, at 7:28 am the Tower 1 began to crumble to the ground.
As I drove into work, I listened for any new updates and if anymore planes would strike or other terrorists attacks would happen, maybe in Seattle or another major US City.
Since it was Tuesday, it was our press day. As we edited that week's newspaper, a few of us at a time would head into the back conference room to watch the destruction and devastation.
It all seemed like a bad dream that we would all wake up tomorrow and know it was all a bad dream.
As I reflect on the last 10 years, I know our country has become a stronger one and in some respects a closer community as we deal with the events of September 11, 2011; knowing that we will heal; but we'll never forget.