The world changed in the blink of an eye 18 years ago today.
I was a medic in the US Army and part of the 1/509 Parachute Infantry Regiment (OPFOR) at Fort Polk, LA. We were just beginning day two of an EMT refresher course with about 50 other Army medics located throughout the world, via a new satellite system that was basically like “Skype” or “FaceTime” of today. Our instructor was not only a paramedic but his full time gig turns out was some sort of communications whiz and was able to hack the system so we could watch the live news coverage. He got it up and running just about the time the second plane hit. We all watched in silence as the fire and carnage from the first plane started devouring those floors. Then the second plane came out of nowhere and smashed head-on into the South Tower. In a room filled with seasoned medics, the only sound heard was a unified sudden gasp. Not a word was spoken. For the next few moments we watched the images on that big screen occasionally scramble and our instructor would work his magic to gain it back. I headed back to the battalion aid station and regrouped with the other medics. Even to this day I am unable to describe the look on all our faces as we watched the towers crumble. Two airliners had deliberately crashed into the World Trade Center and now lay in a pile of rubble. Over the next few days our country was turned upside down. Over the next several months our country united, and began a new era of American history.
Today we remember those who perished and those who sacrificed so much so that others may live. Today we remember not only those cowards that attacked us, but we also remember those who have hunted down those cowards. Today we remember those who continue to hunt our enemies. Today we remember the lives lost and saved. It would be wrong of us not to remember.
“Boldness be my friend.”- William Shakespeare