Saturday, September 10, 2011


I usually got up and turned on the news first thing in the morning.  That morning, I didn't turn it on for some reason.  I was getting ready for work that day.  It was the first day of work for me with my Uncle Sam.  I remember going to bed the night before, worried about going back to steady work.  I was 25 and had spent the summer guiding on and off.  I wouldn't call it steady work, but I spent a lot of time on the water and in the shop.
I got a phone call from my uncle saying he was late because he was watching what happened to the WTC.  I said, "Oh, what happened in 1993"?  "No", he said, "turn on the TV".  I did and by that time both the towers had already fallen.  I was only able to watch the news coverage for about 10-15 minutes before I had to leave.  On the drive to Las Vegas, NM, about an hour from Springer, we were glued to the radio, listing to what was happening.  It was hard to hear in that old van my uncle used to drive.  I spent most of the day in the attic of a motel, running electrical wires from room to room.  At the end of the day, in the lobby of the motel, we watched Tom Brokaw report live from NYC.  It was dark by then and most of the details of the day were know by then.  It was hard to comprehend what had happened.  Even to this day, it's hard for me to comprehend what happened that day.
That day changed all of our lives.  It changed the lives of my unborn children.  Last night, watching the coverage of that day, it seamed like it hurt more than it ever has.  I've grown accustomed to the faces and names of the heroes of Flight 93.  It feels like I knew them, their lives and their story.  I guess we all do.  People have moved on, but it's still hard to watch and hear the stories of the families.
My small kids still don't know exactly what happened and why it happened.  How do you explain hatred   to a 7 year old?  How do you explain why airplanes crashed into tall buildings to a 5 year old?  In time, they will come to understand what happened on that beautiful day in September.

An old childhood friend's son was born on September 11, 2001.  I felt so sorry for her.  Imaging having your child born on one of the worst days in history.  He is now a healthy 10 year old, and that is all that matters now.

I thought those were the coolest buildings ever.  They were iconic.  I remember as a small child how I thought they were so simple, yet so massive.  They were just long cubes in the city.  Standing at the base of them was amazing.  They were huge!   I remember driving out of NYC and staring at those building for as long as I could see them.  They were that dominate in a city full of tall buildings.  I haven't been back to NYC since.

Thank you to all who have served this country.  Thank you for being a cop, an EMT, a  volunteer fire fighter, a little league coach, a Dept. of Defense employee, a nurse, a Marine, a Cadet, or anything else in between.  Thank you.


  1. Thanks Juan. It's strange how easily these memories have come back with the same amount of feeling as 10 years ago.

  2. Powerful comments JR, thanks for sharing