September 11th Then & Now
September 11, 2001
If you were old enough to be watching TV, you remember 9/11/01.
You remember where you were when you heard, what you were doing, who you were with, and how you felt.
Other generations had Pearl Harbor, JFK, The Space Shuttle Challenger, this was a new generations moment...
The moment that they would remember forever.
A moment that changed all of our lives forever.
It changed the way we look at each other, it changed how 'safe' we feel at home, it changed the way we fly, it disrupted our economy, and it changed the lives of every man and woman who wears the uniform in support of this great nation, both home and abroad.
I remember being in the studio with Hill-Man, Hsu, Kevin and LB... Trying to get the updated news out as quickly as possibly. I remember the voices of the callers who were crying. I remember the roar of the fighter jets flying low, along the Pike headed for Logan, Â I remember the circle of planes flying overÂ Logan Airport waiting for their orders to land and I remember the towers... I watched them fall, and I was frozen.
My generation had heard about war from our parents, but we never really understood what it was like... Until that day.
Now, we know war all too well!
September 11, 2006
Five years after the terrorist attacks on 9/11/01, I went to Iraq. I wanted to see what life was like for our brave men & women who were fighting 'the war on terror'. I was embedded as a reporter with several units from the Mass. Army National Guard. On 9/11/06 I was at Camp Cropper with the 181 Engineers. Camp Cropper was the new prison in Iraq where all of the high level insurgants were kept, including Saddam Hussein. I will never forget that day either.
That was the day that I learned what toll the terrorist attacks had taken on our troops. 12 hour days, 7 days a week, 140* heat. They are away from their families for long deployments, and never come back the same. Some of these guys had never seen their newborn babies... Can you imagine that?
I talked to so many soldiers while I was there, and I asked them all the same question... and I got the same answer back every time.
I asked 'What do you want the people back home to know?' and the response was always... 'We want them to know that we are here, working hard, doing a good job, and that we are trained, and ready to do what is asked of us. But most of all, we just want to be noticed and remembered by the people back home. Don't let them forget about us, make sure they know what we are giving up so that we can serve our country, and what our families are sacrificing so that we can be here doing our job.'
Have we been doing what the asked of us?
September 11, 2009
8 years after the attacks of 9/11/01, what has changed?
We are still looking at each other differently, flying has become a challenge... to say the least, our economy is still struggling, Saddam Hussein is dead, but Osama Bin Laden is still on the loose. 8 years later, nothing stands on the Ground Zero and our troops are still away from home.
Today, here in Massachusetts, the family of 22 year old Sgt. Jordon Shay will be at his memorial service in Newburyport. He was killed in action on September 3 in Baqubah, Iraq.
I bet today everyone that knew Sgt. Shay willÂ remember whereÂ theyÂ were, whatÂ they were doing, whoÂ they were with, and howÂ they felt.
It's not easy to be a soldier, it's even harder to have one in your family. You never know what can happen, and if they will come home.
In 2001, Sgt. Shay was 14. When he was old enough he joined the military, knowing that we were at war and knowing that he could go there and that he might not come home.Â He joined anyway.
On a day like today, everyone mourns differently. Some people need to talk about 9/11, some people don't want to talk about it ever!Â But today, even if you don't want to talk about it... Think of Sgt. Shay. Think about all of the brave men & women who are away from their families, far from home. Think about those people who lost a loved one on 9/11 and every day since.
Support all of those who bravely wear a uniform in service to all of us.
And to all of those soldiers that I met in Iraq, I still remember all of your faces, and I will never forget you!