September 11, 2001.
Like most, I remember it very well. I remember where I was, what I was doing and who first shared the news.
For me 2001 was ten years and two careers ago. On September 11th I was an independent manufacturers’ agent in Atlantic Canada exhibiting at a trade show in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I was living an hour north of Halifax at the time in the small rural community of Lower Onslow. I lived a peaceful, insulated life. The thought of what was to happen on that day had never entered my mind.
By 9 am EDT news started to spread across the trade show floor that an airliner had hit one of the World Trade Center towers in New York. My first thoughts were immediately that this was a terrible accident. It wasn’t long until a second airliner hit the second tower and it was clear that this was not an accident.
My immediate reaction was to call my wife. Did she know what was happening in New York? I asked her to turn on the television and keep me updated.
The possibilities were unfathomable and the rumors were incredulous. Speculation that there were more planes hijacked, that even the bridges in Halifax were at risk. I remember working with a client who was also a member of the Canadian Military on leave. While with me he was called in for duty – all hands on deck.
As it turned out there were four planes, all US bound, that were hijacked. Three planes were used as missiles and slammed in to buildings, one plane crashed in a rural area of Pennsylvania due in large part to the courageous actions of its passengers. Canadian cities were not attacked.
Canada’s role was that of a good neighbor. Hundred’s of planes were diverted to Atlantic Canadian airports where they stayed on runway parking lots for days. The thousands of passengers from all over the world were taken in, fed and cared for by everyday people. It is this act of kindness and global community spirit that exemplifies what we as humans can do for each other.
While we remember the tragedy and loss we witnessed 10 years ago, lets also remember the kindness and caring for humanity that became prevalent here and abroad.
We have only one planet, we are one global family.
Feel free to add where you were and what you were doing in the comments.