It was an early Tuesday morning, and I was running late for school as usual. It was just another day. I ran out of my room ready to go, but the sight of my parents frozen in place staring at the television is a picture I will never forget.
The day was September 11, 2001. A day many of us know and remember well.
At 8:46 a.m. American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the north twin tower.
Television cameras were broadcasting live images. It might have appeared to be a freak accident, but a mere 17 minutes later at 9:03 a.m. United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the south twin tower.
The collision triggered a massive explosion that rained burning debris over surrounding buildings and the streets below.
America was under attack.
By then, my mother insisted on taking me to school. At 9 years old, I didn’t have much room for argument.
However, while the events unfolded in New York, another plane, American Airlines Flight 177 crashed into the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m. It was the third plane crashed, and it would not be the last.
Less than 15 minutes after the Pentagon was struck, the situation in New York took a disastrous turn, and the terror escalated. At 9:59 a.m. the south tower of the world trade center collapsed, creating a massive cloud of dust and smoke.
The structural steel of the skyscraper was built to endure winds in excess of 200 mph and a large fire, but could not withstand the tremendous heat generated by the burning jet fuel from the crashed plane.
Meanwhile, passengers of United Airlines Flight 93, the fourth and final plane, launched a counterattack against the hijackers after learning of the previous attacks. United Airlines Flight 93 was crashed into an empty field near Shanksville, Pa.
Then at 10:28 a.m. the second tower collapsed.
The timeline of these attacks is staggering to comprehend. Being a child when September 11 occurred, I don’t remember these events completely.
I was sent back home almost immediately following the second tower’s collapse. My two older brothers were already home by the time my mother came and picked me up.
Nobody could explain what was happening, and no one wanted to.
It has been 12 years since that day, yet the events of that day are still strong in many of our memories.
“May the lives remembered, the deeds recognized, and the spirit reawakened be eternal beacons, which reaffirm respect for life, strengthen our resolve to preserve freedom, and inspire an end to hatred, ignorance and intolerance,” says the mission statement of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center in New York City.
Colorado State University-Pueblo will honor these words by inviting all students and employees to a candlelight ceremony starting at 8 p.m. by the 9/11 memorial, located next to the physical plant on the north side of campus.
On this day, whether you remember where and what you were doing when these events happened, take a moment to remember, a moment to honor the thousands of men, women and children who died in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.