Remember the hours after September 11th when we came together as one to answer the attack against our homeland. We drew strength when our firefighters ran upstairs and risked their lives so that others might live; when rescuers rushed into smoke and fire at the Pentagon; when the men and women of Flight 93 sacrificed themselves to save our nation’s Capitol; when flags were hanging from front porches all across America, and strangers became friends. It was the worst day we have ever seen, but it brought out the best in all of us. –U.S. Senator John Kerry
The following column has been slightly edited from a previous column…
Today we take a moment to remember September 11, 2001. It seems just yesterday that our country was attacked – but it has been 17 years.
On that day I remember staring at the television in shock. When the second plane hit the World Trade Center, I hoped and prayed that it was a replay of the first plane hitting it. It wasn’t. I hoped like many folks that the whole thing was just a dream. It wasn’t.
At that time I worked for U.S. Senator Conrad Burns in Great Falls, Montana, and I was scheduled to attend a meeting the morning of September 11 at Malmstrom Air Force Base. As I showed my ID to at the base gate, a breaking news alert came on my car radio saying a plane had hit the Pentagon – my Pentagon – our Pentagon. My thoughts shifted to friends and former colleagues who worked there.