I was still in bed, lazily avoiding the invitable when my husband, who I believed had already left for work, came running up the stairs and said "turn to CNN, a plane just hit the world trade center".
We turned on the news and were amazed at this tragic accident that had happened and wondered what could have gone wrong to make a plane do that. Then the second plane hit.
I remember thinking "this can't really be happening. This is the stuff of movies." It was so unreal to see the plane hit, the towers fall, and people running through the streets trying to get ahead of the invading cloud of debris filled dust. I could have been watching the latest action movie, but it was real.
Being on the west coast, we weren't immediately in the middle of the tragedy, but as the rest of the nation, we felt "hit" as well. This was something that happened to America as a whole, not just a small pair of buildings in a small state on the other side of the country.
My neighbor lost someone he worked with, my friend's parents were flying that day and didn't know if it was her parents flight for a long while (thankfully not), a man down the street who is a firefighter volunteered at his own expense to go across the country and help search for survivors.
We would continue to learn of what had really happened, the third plane and the heroic passengers aboard, people who through harried lateness were away from the office when the tragedy happened, the unity, love and service that swept over the rough and gruff New Yorkers.
America seemed to put aside petty differences and truly become the United States. Politicians, for once, seemed to be on the same page. It is sad that it takes something so horrific to bring people together and how quickly we forsake that unity.
My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost loved ones, the heroic men and women who fought to save lives, and for our great country - "one nation, under God" - that God will continue to bless it and save us from ourselves.