Chapter 25: The day the music died

It was like any other Tuesday morning. I woke up at 6 am, got me and the baby dressed. Dropped him off with the babysitter, and went onto work. I sat down at my desk and remembered that I left a disk in my computer at home that I needed for work. I went back to my house in base housing, grab the disk, and headed back into the office. I was listening to the radio. Ironically, the song "American Pie" was playing. After the song ended, the DJ announced that an airplane flew into the World Trade Center.
I am not going to lie. I had heard of the WTC, but I had no idea what it looked like or where it was in New York. The only time that I had seen them was when the garage of the WTC was bombed. Other than that, I just knew that it was tall building. With that thought in my head, I pictured the scene in King Kong where he was swatting the airplane, except this time, the airplane lost and flew into the building. I chuckled thinking, "Who is stupid enough to fly a plane into the building? Seriously, how could you miss it?"
I finally arrived back to my building. I noticed that people were bustling around the floor, but I thought maybe they had a meeting with the Colonel and were preparing for it. People were in and out of Intel so then I was pretty sure it was a debrief from the Annual Training.
I walked in the S-1 and looked at friend. He had a stern look on his face, so I thought he was just mad at the world like he usually was. I ask him, "did you hear about the idiot who flew their plane into the World Trade Center? What an idiot!" The next words out of his mouth were "That wasn't an accident. We have an Intel brief in 10 minutes." What was happening?  I logged onto and saw the picture. That wasn't a small plane. No way.
We nervously all congregated into the Intel office, awaiting our brief. The somber feeling in the room started to make me unsure as to what was happening. The Intel Chief, who was a usually a relaxed man, stared at the TV that was on. "My father-in-law is in there." Instant emotion took over my body. Within minutes of watching the coverage, the second plane went through the building. We stood there in total shock. Our country was under attack.
We were given our brief. We were told about who we believed was behind the attacks and what our plan of action would be, how we needed to secure the buildings. My mind was still grasping the concept of someone intentionally doing this to our country. Who are these villains?
We all stared at the TV. Watching the devastation that was now our reality. Watching people jump from the buildings. The fear in the eyes of those leaving the area. My America was badly beaten. Time stood still as we continued to hear about our country being attacked. Then the Pentagon was hit. Instant chaos entered my mind. I then remembered that my mom was flying to England that day and I couldn't remember what time she left.
I ran back to the S-1 shop. I could barely feel my fingers as I dialed her number. I was numb. Numb all over and emotional spent. And this was only the beginning. Luckily, my mother was still at home and knew nothing about what was going on. When I heard her break down and cry on the phone, I knew that someone hurt us and became angry. Then, I heard from my admin officer, "one more plane is down." Why? Why would someone punish people like this. Religion, ideology and politics.
That day, I remembered the core values of the Marine Corps - Honor, Courage and Commitment. The honor of being a Marine serving for this wonderful country, the courage to fight for those who have been hurt by these villains and the commitment to get the job done.
I was angry. Very angry.


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