On September 11, 2012 and in memory of the atrocities that took place on 9-11 in 2001, a column I wrote when the horrific attacks occurred sadly reveals once again what happened that fateful day.
And so, as the globe's citizens painfully continue to learn about random acts of terrorism everywhere, what seems like every day, whether at home or on a trip, all of the world will always remember 9-11-2011. And that's the way it should be.
Please read what it was like back then for this traveler and please share your stories below of what you were doing and thinking at that terrible time, too.
September 13, 2001: Putting business travel out of my mind, I left Los Angeles with my husband and two teenage boys in our Taurus wagon for a road trip to Reno in early September. We played I spy, we sang familiar tunes, we ate lots of junk food, and we laughed and bickered about silly things. Once there, we picked up my Mom and headed straight for the mountains.
Monday night was spent in sheer bliss at a luxury Hyatt resort, surrounded by the Sierra Nevadas and a kind of peacefulness none of us city dwellers can conjure up when we're in the thick of it. Armed with flashlights, the kids walked down to a private beach to look for sea treasures while we adults reminisced long into the night.
I have not slept so soundly in quite some time, and now I am sure it will be a long time again before I will. My husband drew me out of a dream and into a nightmare as he made me aware of the horrific happenings in Manhattan that morning now called 9-11.
Shocked, I snapped on the TV and watched a landmark building I have memorized both from the air and from the ground disintegrate into enormous heaps of crumbled cement and steel. A diehard New Yorker who had no address there for nearly 20 years, my heart stopped as an address I knew so well was punished by such devastation.
This had to be some sort of movie, a Hollywood tale of mass destruction. Trying not to watch, but finding it impossible not to, I witnessed replay after replay of passenger jets turned lethal weapons handily hitting their targets. When word came that the Pentagon was also prey, and then later that another plane had gone down in Pennsylvania, I an unwilling witness to a succession of incomprehensible crimes that could never be explained.
My computer became my companion as I reached out to my best friend back home, to a dear colleague in New York who works near the Empire State building and to a longtime friend in Washington, D.C. We compared notes from our vantage points as we worried about each other and about all our loved ones, many of whom we hadn't been able to locate yet.
After an exhausting exchange, we all came to the same conclusion: that this senseless tragedy would not curtail neither our need nor our zest for travel.
That said, in due time, it would be business as usual when we would be back in the air, going everywhere for every reason, business and otherwise. We had no doubt that those evil terrorists would neither keep us grounded nor would they ground our spirits. Not now, not ever.
Emphatically, 9-11 is a time to always remember, to never forget.