I remember it like it just happened.
In 2001 I worked for a tool distributor, and my territory was a good portion of Northeast Ohio. On Tuesdays, my route covered the Akron area. I remember this particular day being a bit chilly, but a beautiful day nonetheless… not a cloud in the sky!
My second stop on September 11th of 2001 was a NAPA auto parts store in Tallmadge, OH. I walked into the store just before 9:00 in the morning. All the employees were glued to the television hanging on the wall; there were images of one of the World Trade Center’s towers billowing black smoke. The first thing I heard was, “A small plane must’ve lost control and crashed into the tower.” So I watched with the guys… I couldn’t exactly continue my sales pitch…
A few minutes later, I watched on live television, a plane crashed into the other WTC tower…
Holy shit… this isn’t happening… but it was. I immediately suspected terrorism and my first thoughts were of my four and one year old daughters at day care. I wanted to go get them. I tried to call my wife, but the call wouldn’t go through. It took a while to get a hold of her. Eventually I did… and she was getting the girls.
In the meantime we hear news of an explosion at the Pentagon. I called my boss to tell him I’m heading home to be with my family, because who knows where this is going, and what else might happen. He tells me to keep making sales calls. Seriously, dude?
I stuck around and watched TV a little bit longer, and then the first tower collapsed.
At that point, I went home to be with my family.
Where were you?