Eight years ago. I was working as a traffic manager at an ad agency. Every morning before I left for work, I would sit in front of the TV, watching the today show & eating my breakfast instead of working out, which was my intention nearly every morning when I woke up. Shortly after flipping on the television, I watched as the 2nd plane plowed into the side of the World Trade Center. It was completely unreal. I thought maybe I hadn't seen it right or it was a figment of my imagination. But then the news anchors started shouting and asking each other if, indeed, that was a plane. And then life shifted to slow motion. And reality unfolded right before our eyes.
I went to work that day anyway. But we all huddled in one office, listening to the radio that belonged to our senior art director. There was speculation around our city that various buildings would be closed in a national security effort. And throughout the morning, an uneasiness settled in my stomach. I just wanted to go home and be there. Finally our senior art director stood up and said, "I'm taking my son [one of our production artists] and we're going home to be with our family." Soon we all followed suit. Nothing seemed more important at the time.
It was a day that changed the way I looked at so many things. It reminded me of how much I loved my family, of the pride I have in country, of the joy I find in my freedom, of how short life is and that we should do our best to truly LIVE and leave a positive imprint when our time is up. It reminded me to be thankful for every day and for the hard work and dedication of others. And it taught me that we have a responsibility for self but also toward each other.