Saturday, September 10, 2011

Where were you on 9/11?

12 years ago on September 11th, 2001 shortly after 8:46am, I recieved a phone call from my grandmother "Brett, wake up a plane (Flight 11) just hit the World Trade Center." Puzzled, I turned on the television and sure enough one of the North Tower of the World Trade Center was consumed in fire and smoke. A few minutes later I watched as the second plane, Flight 175 hit the South Tower on live television. I couldn't believe my eyes, never have I seen anything like it. Instantly, like many other people, I knew this wasn't an accident, we were being attacked.

What you don't know is I was 18 years old and getting ready to move into a dorm that week at the University of Cincinnati. That Tuesday, September 11th, I had planned to spend with my grandmother getting bedroom sheets and blankets. Eventually we did go to the mall, but not before I saw Flight 77 fly into the Pentagon, the South Tower collapse, Flight 93 crash into Shanksville, PA, and the North Tower Collapse. Quite the series of events. Sometime that afternoon we eventually made it to the mall. The thing I remember most was going to a restaurant at the food court and talking to the young lady behind the register. Talking about the events caused her to break down in tears. It was then at that moment when it really hit me, it really showed me the magnitude of the incident, how big of an event this really was. The United States was forever changed.

A year later some friends and I took a baseball stadium road trip and had the chance to stop by Ground Zero. It was one of the most jaw dropping experiences I've ever had. It looked like one gigantic hole in the ground.

In May and early June of 2011 my wife and I were fortunate enough to get the chance to visit Shanksville, Washington D.C., and New York. We made it a priority to visit all the memorials (Flight 93 Memorial, Pentagon Memorial, and Ground Zero). Unfortunately all the exhibits at all the locations (with the exception of the Pentagon) were still being built, but most importantly we were still able to pay our respects to the lives lost on that day. I highly recommend visiting those sites the next time you are thinking about taking a road trip or vacation. It is truly an experience.

This year in March, I had the opportunity to visit Ground Zero in New York City and see the 9/11 memorial as well as the finishing touches of One World Trade Center. While it was a cold and rainy day, it didn't changed the fact that the memorials were amazing. These sites are places that everyone should make a priority to visit at some point.

Panoramic view of the 9/11 Memorial

One World Trade Center Rises

Panoramic View of NYC.

Not counting the hijackers, 2,977 brave civilians, firefighters, police officers, and military personnel lost their lives that day. This Tuesday let us remember where we were that day and how many lives were affected. Take a moment to remember those who lost their lives.

We'd love to hear your story. Feel free to visit our Facebook Page and tell us where you were on 9/11/2001.

Below are some pictures from my trip in 2011. Click on them to enlarge.
Perhaps my favorite picture from the Ground Zero Workshop Museum.
It says it all doesn't it?
Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville. The plane crashed in the
grass at the center of the picture.
Pentagon Memorial in Washington D.C.
Ground Zero Memorial. To the Left the Freedom Tower begins to rise.
Glass from the World Trade Center viewed
at the Ground Zero Museum Workshop.


  1. I was in my private practice rotation in my 4th year of optometry school in Philadelphia. I was called by my Air National Guard Unit the next day and was ordered to report in 12 hours. I was put on active duty orders indefinately in support of Air Superiority from New York City to Washington DC. We were on 24hrs. I worked 6pm to 6am, 7 days a week for months while my fiance (now wife) still lived in Philadelphia. Talk about some uncertain times.

    1. Wow. 12 hour shifts 7 days a week!? That's demanding, but understandable.

    2. That was a stressful time. I only had 6 months left to get my Optometry degree. The good thing is that I was able to graduate on time with my class. They ended up waiving my requirement for my private practice rotation.


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