Editor’s note: After the September 11th attacks, I sent out a request in our eNewsletter. Here’s what it said:
"I haven’t been able to get away from the news for the past week, and I’m sure most of you feel the same way. Wherever you were, whatever you were doing, you’ll probably remember the specifics for a long time. But memories deteriorate.
While I often find myself begging (almost) for more contributions, this request is of a different nature. Please take a few minutes to reflect on the past week and write down your experiences. I want to know where you were, how you reacted, what you saw, what you didn’t see.
I want to know how this has affected people. I will try to find a way to share it with everyone; or no one, if you prefer."
What I received soon thereafter surprised me. I not only received more contributions than I expected, but I found myself coming to terms with things through the reactions of those who wrote back.
I encourage you to read each and every response, for they represent a fraction of what I received. Please remember that these are uncensored responses that might offend you. Read and digest. Perhaps it will help you too.
– Michael Browne, October 2001
By Carlton Loomis
I am a firefighter in Aurora, CO. I walked in to the station at 7:03 am on Sept. 11th. The TV was on and Tower 1 of the World Trade Center was on fire. I looked at the other guys and said, "So the terrorist flew a plane into the World Trade Center." We have been trained intensively for the past several years for these attacks although most people thought it would be a small plane loaded with explosives.
After Tower 2 collapsed, we saw hundreds of firefighters walking into the dust. We all knew we were watching hundreds of our brothers marching to their certain death. I have never felt more apprehension in my life and as Tower 2 came down, we all felt a tremendous sense of loss as if our own family had lost members.
Now it is time to rebuild. Everyone thinks that firefighters are some special superhuman heroes, but we are just like everyone else doing a job. Everyone in America needs to suck it up and get ready for some hard times and possibly some worse times. Only by getting back to work, by investing in our economy and by getting tough personally can we show these terrorists that they will never have the power to harm the foundations of freedom that America represents to the rest of the world.
God bless the USA.