I was working Private Security at Exodus Communications, an Internet Data Facility. Swing shift, 1500 to 2300. I remember waking up that morning and heading to the Dry Cleaners to pick up my uniforms. The radio in my car was on, tuned to the Classic Rock station, but all they were playing was the news. I changed the channel, more news. Changed it again, more news. What the hell? At some point I started to pay attention, they were talking about a plane crash, remember thinking that it must have been bad because it was on every station. I picked up my clothes and headed back home thinking that I would see if it was on the TV news. When I got home, the news was on. Every channel, all day and all night.
I hadn’t been home for very long when I got a call. (I didn’t have a cell phone, it was 2001.) It was the Director of Security for Exodus. Two of the planes used in the attack belonged to American Airlines. Exodus housed all of AA’s servers. Not knowing the reason behind the attack, it was unknown if American was a target and if our facility could also be at risk. I got dressed, and headed to the facility for what was the beginning of rotating 12 hour shifts. Three Officers per shift for the duration.
I remember stepping outside to smoke, and there not being a plane in the sky. The quiet was almost overwhelming.
I remember praying for the first responders. The ones whose duty bound them to run in, while others were running out.
I remember wondering what kind of a shit-hole world were my children going to grow up in.
I remember now, the freedoms that we chose to give up, in order to feel secure, and wondering if we will ever get them back.
But most of all, I remember.