I was working at home with the news on. Watched the entire thing unfold while talking to my father about it on the phone. We were both in complete disbelief. I can remember first thinking that it had to be some sort of gross air traffic error but then the second plane hit the tower It became clear that this was no mistake.
In the mean time, Terry and the girls were in Georgetown working and at school. They could see the smoke from the Pentagon just across and down the Potomac.
It was all very surreal here in DC. The first reports of the issue at the Pentagon were that of a helicopter crash. Comparatively no big deal as helicopters fly to and from the Pentagon all the time. It was a plausible reason for the fire and smoke. However, it soon became apparent that we were under attack, that the Pentagon "fire" was actually a 3rd plane, and even more worrisome, one plane was still missing. With Georgetown's proximity to other potential targets like Embassy Row and the Naval Observatory, I decided it was just time to get the family out of there and home together. I called Terry and pretty much told her to get the kids and come home.
Ironically, due to 9/11, today I wouldn't be able to do that because the schools would go into immediate lock down and not allow staff and students to leave. Not really sure how I feel about that. At the time, the most important thing to me was to get the family out of there as soon as possible.
In this day of remembrance it is not only important that we honor the hero’s in NY, DC, and PA, it’s also important that we never forget how that event made us feel that day and the impact it has had on every one of our individual lives since. We can honor the fallen with memorials and ceremonies, but if we forget how 9/11 has changed all of our lives then we dishonor those who have given their all to help keep American safe and free; we will be bound to repeating the same mistakes that left us vulnerable 10 years ago today.