I know exactly where I was. I was on the phone with my running buddy, Bob Wong. Yes, it's the same Bob Wong that little Bobdog, ratface is named after. Bob and I were doing jock talk, and were tormenting each other about how I was going to kick his ass on an upcoming run, no he was going to kick mine, and so forth.
One of my coworkers came back and told me that I had to get off the phone. NOW! That a plane had hit the World Trade Center. What? Get off the phone. RIGHT NOW! So I hung up on Bob and pulled up CNN. Then I got a tv out of a conference room, and turned it on in the lobby. For hours we all watched the horror and nightmares unfold. It remains the most singular day in my life.
Needless to say, no work was done on 9/11 in my office. When the Pentagon got hit, I wondered how many people I knew up there, and what was next. Then the towers collapsed and cell phone traffic up and down the east coast stopped. My friends at the Fed luckily had Blackberries which somehow still worked, so they could get word out that they were ok.
A few weeks later my friend Therese and I ran the Marine Corp Marathon. Goofy me, made US flag pins, and carried them in a butt pack as I ran. I stopped and gave all the soldiers I saw one, and thanked them for keeping us safe. And trust me, the race was just about the safest place in the world that day. There were sharp shooters everywhere, and everyone was locked and loaded. As I ran by the gaping hole in the Pentagon I had to stop and cry. There were desks hanging out the giant wound in the building and you knew that thats where somoneone's mother or father, sister or brother, son or daughter had sat.
To this day I don't know what you take from an experience like this, except to live each day with meaning. All those people got up in the morning to do what we all do every day. Each one of them meant a whole world to someone else. I wish all their loved ones peace and serenity in the loving memory of their lost family members.