September 11th, 2001. It's one of those days where everybody remembers exactly where they were and what they were doing when they learned that our great country was under attack.
I remember it like it was yesterday, I lived in New Orleans, Louisiana, and I worked for South 106.1's sister station WNOE. I had been there for nearly five months. I was living in an apartment complex that was adjacent to Lake Pontchartrain. Between the levy and the water, there is a paved path where I would get up and go for a run on most mornings.
That morning was no different than most September mornings. It was already hot and sticky as heck, and I returned to my place dripping in sweat. I noticed that the light on my answering machine was flashing. I walked over, hit the play button, and walked in to the kitchen to get some water and breakfast.
It was my mom on the machine... "Hi, just wondering if you were watching what was going in New York. Talk to you later." There was no panic or worry in her voice, so I didn't think a thing of it. I then poured a bowl of cereal, walked over to the couch with my cereal and water, and turned on the Today Show, just as I did pretty much every other morning. I turned the TV on just in time to see the plane hit the second building.
What the hell???
Like most Americans, I sat there watching in horror, not knowing what to think. It was shocking, to say the least. The radio geek in me took over and I wondered if they were talking about this on the morning show at the radio station. I turned on the radio and we were already airing wall-to-wall coverage, which we aired for several days after.
On a side note, there is a building in New Orleans on the Mississippi River that is also called the World Trade Center. There were a decent amount of people that simply heard that "the World Trade Center was under attack" and thought that it was in New Orleans. As New Orleanians, we were certainly glad that it was not THAT World Trade Center, but as Americans, we were mortified and saddened nonetheless.
Twelve years later, I still do not understand. I do not understand hate. I do not understand how we, as a Country, could be hated so much by others that they would want to kill us in mass quantities or instill fear in us simply because we are Americans and do not share the same beliefs. I did not understand it then, I do not understand it now, and I will never understand.
One thing I DO understand is how important it is to love one another, today and always. Life is too short to hate.
God bless you reading this. God bless your family. And God bless America.