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East End News

A Moment to Remember – September 11th, 2001

I can remember. I can remember September 11th, 2001. It is a day that is etched in my mind as almost anyone who can remember 2001 will tell you. I was asleep. I was living on the west coast at that time and my mom’s phone call woke me right up out of bed. Normally, I’m not one to answer the phone so early, but I did on that day on the first ring. My mom was frantic and her words still echo in my ear “We’re under attack, the United States is under attack”. Being on the west coast, only minutes from the ocean, I had visions of looking out my window and seeing invading troops coming down the street.

However, there were no invading troops. At least not the ones I pictured in my mind. The war that was waged was something more sinister. It was a war of terror and fear.

In retrospect it was a moment, at least for me, that signaled a change in the world I knew. It was a slap in the face. An awakening. It tuned me into a reality that I had never considered. We were not untouchable here at home. However, it also showed me the incredible courage of the American people. Today I want to take a moment to celebrate and honor that courage.

Here at CHPN we cover a lot of local happenings. Restaurant openings, events, charities, crime, pets, etc. We cover a lot of what I would consider fluff in the grand scheme of things. It’s news, it’s stuff that our readers are interested in, and we enjoy covering it. However, it’s important for us all to remember that we enjoy those things because of the sacrifices of others.

We have an enormous amount of freedom and liberty in this country to pursue our dreams, whether serious or frivolous, and we should never take that for granted.

Let us never forget those who gave the ultimate sacrifice that day. Those who lost their lives whether they were victims of this terrible tragedy or first responders that didn’t make it back.

In addition, I would also like to take a moment today to say Thank You. Thank You to all the first responders that every day put their lives on the line. Thank you to ALL of our men and women in uniform whether you’re a part of the Richmond Police Department, Richmond Fire Department, Richmond Sheriff’s Department, medical personnel in our hospitals, or one of our men and women serving in the military. From all of us here at CHPN, sincerely, thank you for all that you do and all that you sacrifice.

6 comments

Liz 09/11/2018 at 8:16 AM

Jacob, I echo your words and thank YOU for your thoughts this morning. Never forget.

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KFO 09/11/2018 at 1:22 PM

Always good to honor those who risk their lives for others and to mark those whose lives were unjustly taken – tthank you Jacob.

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Kay 09/11/2018 at 2:50 PM

Nice job Jacob…your sentiments are echoed.

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mary 09/11/2018 at 3:17 PM

Today is indeed a day to remember…tho’ I actually remember that day pretty often.

I was in WDC that day, as I was most every day since that’s where I worked. That day I was with a group at a training session on the edge of the Potomac, just across from the Pentagon. We heard the strike and watched the immediate aftermath – the flames and the smoke. In memory I feel the strike but I know that isn’t so.

Those of us in the training session had a hard time adjusting to what we had seen and were seeing. WTF? At the Pentagon? All the while we were wondering what the hell had just happened. Once we learned that what we were seeing wasn’t an accident, we wondered where the next strike would be or would there be a next strike…and there were lots of rumors. Available and/or reliable information was sparse…not only about what had happened at the Pentagon but what had happened to the towers and then what else was going to happen. It was a while before we learned about United 93.

We were at work, for gods’ sake, so television and radio coverage wasn’t part of our immediate environment. That made access to information even more iffy…and cell phones weren’t the part of our lives they are now.

Being in WDC that day was massively confusing for everyone in the first minutes and hours after the strike on the Pentagon.

Our training session? It just ended…no announcement, no formal end…it just stopped and people scattered – actually ran – most back to 14th and Independence. The city chaotic and rangers on horseback directing traffic – tho’ no traffic in our immediate area was moving.
Roads and streets and avenues were shut down and nobody paid the least bit of attention to the directives. The mall filled with people on foot, turning in circles and crying.

With the bridges and the interstate south closed there was additional confusion for those of us who commuted back and forth every day, as I did from Richmond. Would we get home? Would we shelter in our office buildings? Would we be able to contact family? Where would the next hit be?

And it’s staggering to even try to imagine how much worse it was in NYC.

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Mike 1 09/11/2018 at 6:19 PM

Thank you for the great article. I remember always and will never forget. I was across the street from the Pentagon in Crystal City that morning. We were watching the coverage coming from New York in our network control center when we felt the impact from the plane, and then smelled the smoke from the fire as it came through our building. Very sobering knowing the exact moment fellow servicemen and Americans perished. Again, thank you for the article.

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Juliellen 09/11/2018 at 8:36 PM

Thank you Jacob. I felt pretty somber today. Nicely said.

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