September 11th

It happened on a serene Tuesday morning. Perfect weather. Clear sky. Locals saw a Boeing 757 jerking through the air at an awkward angle and speeding toward Earth. Farmers watched in slack-jawed amazement. Commuters pulled over to see a commercial airliner bounce from the sky and slam into the ground. When the plane hit soil…

September 11th

I remember my office in Des Moines this day. We were all gathered around the one office that had a TV, glued to it.

That same day I searched for some way a poor common girl could reach out. Somehow. This was devastating and tore me apart.

I found an online memorial for a man who had died in the World Trade Center. I followed it for several years. I swore I’d never forget.

About 10 years ago, the page was taken down, and eventually I did forget the young man’s name. I have never forgotten his face, though, or how he had helped others out of the building, or the fact he’d left behind a family.

I think we all have memories of that day, likely none of them good. I have a few others, but I won’t elaborate.

It changed Americans. It became part of the mindset that prompted me to go overseas and help others in conflict. It caused me to become a journalist and also to use my degree in international law to promote my ability to assist.

Our lives change for many reasons. This changed mine.