September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document

Story:September 11th, 2001 was a day that started much like any other for me. I live in Los Angeles so the day and barely begun when I first heard the news that something terrible had happened in New York. It was somewhere between 6:45 and 7:00 AM and I was on my drive to work. I was listening to the Howard Stern show and the members of the show were explaining that the World Trade Center was on fire. There was a tremendous amount of confusion and very little information was available at the time. My first reaction was that this was some type of radio show "bit". I turned the channels to see what the local Los Angeles DJ's were saying. To my surprise, there was no mention of the events that were unfolding in New York. It must be a prank I thought to myself. If this was some type of joke it certainly wasn't funny. I continued flipping through the channels and finally the news started to break on our local stations. This was no joke, it was an act of terrorism.

I was almost at work by this time so I continued on my morning drive to the office. Upon arriving, I turned on the radio and continued to listen to the tragic events of the day. I quickly phoned my wife who worked at USC University Hospital at the time. She was still at home with my daughter and had been watching the towers burn on television. The hospital and my daughter's daycare facility were located fairly close to downtown Los Angeles and we were both afraid of some type of attack on our city as well. We both figured that it would be much safer to stay at home that day. Along with everybody else in the world, we were glued to the television that night. Even today, it's hard to believe what happened and to come to terms with the grief suffered by those who lost loved ones. I've been to Manhattan on several occasions but never since Sept 11,2001. I sometimes wonder if visiting would be therapeutic in some way.

So why am I sitting here typing this letter more than 2 years later? I was very fortunate that I didn't personally know anybody that perished on that day but 9/11 has still changed my world forever. I think that in some way it's changed all of us. We are constantly reminded whenever we go to the airport but it's sometimes much more subtle.

Yesterday I took my daughter and my son, who wasn't born at the time of the attacks, to Disneyland. As I sat waiting for my daughter to come off one of the rides with her uncle, I started to think about were I was. I'm sitting at Disneyland, the self proclaimed "Happiest Place on Earth". Than I began to worry a little bit. Would terrorists attack Disneyland as a symbolic gesture against America. Are we safe here? The sad truth is that our country lost so much on that day and we will never be the same. We lost our innocence and I don't think that we will ever be able to get it back. Fortunately, we gained something as well. The actions of the people in New York were an inspiration to us all. Amid the loss, buried beneath the ruble, we rediscovered American pride. We must never forget those that were murdered that day and the families that had their worlds changed forever.

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