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  • It’s hard to believe it’s been fifteen years. Every year on this date I go back to what I was doing that morning. As I am sure many others do. It was such a beautiful fall day. Perfect weather, not too hot and not too cold. The sun shining brightly early in the morning. I headed out to work at the Hartford Police Department where I had been working as a Crisis Intervention Specialist, for twenty years, going out on crisis calls with police officers. I was listening to NPR on the radio on my ride in to work when the news of a plane crash came in. They were saying that a small aircraft had flown into Manhattan and hit one of the World Trade towers. My first thought was, “not possible.” I had learned to fly small aircraft when I was in my early twenties, and I was sure from that first moment that a small plane had not just mistakenly flown into that air space and hit a large building like that. Just as I was arriving at my office, the second plane hit. Now I was positive my hunch had been correct. These were no accidents. Someone turned on an old television in one of the HPD offices and the news started pouring in. Not long after that a third plane flew into the Pentagon and a final plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after the passengers were able to gain access to the cockpit.

    What was going on? Were these coordinated attacks that were bringing war to our own country? I was in shock and afraid and my first thought was my family. I talked to my captain and told him I was going to pick up my daughter at her school and I would keep in touch. He could call me on my police radio if I was needed immediately.

    I was the first parent to arrive at my daughter’s school and they didn’t even ask me why I was picking her up early. As we were pulling away from the building I saw other cars pulling up and frantic looking parents running into the building.

    At the time, my brother and sister were living in a two family house in our hometown. My sister had the apartment upstairs and my brother was downstairs. I knew I had to be with my family, no matter what was going on, and my car just automatically drove over to their house. They were there, also in shock, and watching the news on the television. It all seemed so surreal. It was as though time was moving in slow motion and mixing with all my emotions and feelings. Even now, writing this down, I am crying. I remember those moments and feel the emotions once again. Other family members kept arriving so we could all be together. My brothers and sister screaming when the south tower came down and then the total silence of shock. The disbelief and horror when the north tower came down less than a half hour later. We stayed together, and we cried, and we continued to take in all of the news. My sister says she watched the news for about twelve hours before doing anything else. One of my brothers continued to watch the news day after day. In disbelief and unable to pull himself away.

    I wrote a story on Cowbird, several years ago, entitled “9/11,” about the days that followed the September 11th attacks, but I just wanted to write something about where my mind takes me every year now on that date. I will never forget.
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