Eight Years Ago Today

It was early in the morning and, of all things, I was driving to a Homicide Conference.  I was listening to Rock 101 and thought the DJ’s were up to their usual shenanigans until one of them swore.

“Oh Shit!  A plane just flew into a building!  Holy Shit, oh my God!”  

For the next several minutes, I flipped from radio station to radio station, thinking of Orson Welles and his well plotted radio broadcast from several decades ago. 

But as all of you know, this was not a prank.  It was the single most horrendous act ever committed against the United States, one of the most powerful countries in the world.


We watched the Towers fall, live on TV, all of us police officers from across Canada and the United States.  All had signed up for the Homicide Conference, not knowing we would be getting the greatest lesson of all time.

Fear knows no boundaries.


By that afternoon all of the Americans had left, trying to get back into their own country through locked borders.  

We carried on with the conference.  Barely.


That evening my husband and I fielded calls from various family members.  Most were in tears, some sobbing uncontrollably. 

Did we know that hundreds of firemen had died?  Dozens of police officers?

We knew.

We felt it.

My husband and I looked at one another.  We read the uncertainty in each other’s eyes, and knew all we cherished could be vaporized in an instant. 

He is a firefighter.  I am a police officer.

Thank God our children were too young at the time to make the connection.


Everyone reading this has a similar story.  You remember where you were, what you doing, when you first heard the news and knew it to be real. 

Firefighters, police officers, citizens, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, lovers and friends all died in the 9/11 attacks.

The memory is so close as to feel like yesterday, and it amazes me that eight years have gone by. 

Once a year, I linger on thoughts of the survivors and the expectant mothers whose children will never know their fathers.  I still have the PEOPLE magazine with the women’s photos on the cover, and I wonder where they are now. 


“Where were you when the world stopped turning?”

  – Alan Jackson





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