“Purely Personal-Life Beyond Sports”
Stepping Away for 1-Day from Sports-to think about society.
The Padres horrible skid
The Chargers opening season game in Washington
The Aztecs stunning win in Arizona
It can wait.
Stepping Away for a day of reflection..this 20th Anniversary of the World Trade Center tragedy.
I couldn’t get it out of my mind all day Saturday.
9/11 has a Time Stamp on my memory forever
A scar on my soul that will remain forever.
We all know where we were when the first plane went into the tower at 8:46am. And then the second one at 9:02…then 9:53…and at 10:03
Close your eyes and you see the fire from the first crash…the explosion from the 2nd jet…the charred building at the Pentagon and the crash sight at Shanksville. And the horrors as the towers crashed.
The flashbacks now and the memory of 343-firefighters running up stairwells in the minutes after the crash, not knowing death and bodies were about to come down on them in moments.
That and the pictures of people jumping out of windows to their death seconds later, as the fires roared thru offices.
You see the rubble, the dust, the ravages to firemen and citizens…and America’s psyche. It was Pearl Harbor all over again, but it was at home, infront of us, on our TV.
For me at home, it is a flashback I will never forget. My teenage son, who always got up early to watch network news, came up to wake me at 5:46am to tell me a plane had crashed into the Twin Towers.
The same Twin Towers I had taken my family on an April spring day on a sight seeing tour of New York City. just months before.
Then standing in my family room with both my boys, we saw the 2nd plane explode into the tower. The horrors of real life, not some bad movie.
It was at that instant, I murmured ‘this is an act of terrorism’ as my youngest boy started to weep.
Paralyzed by what we saw, we sat and came word of the Pentagon crash, then the Pennsylvania crash. And in your heart, you fear and wonder, will it happen in LA-Boston-Chicago. At that moment, America was no longer a global power, it was under attack by unknown forces.
Scared yes, for you feared the White House was next, the Capitol, where else.
Fearful for my military brothers, one who worked at the White House. The other who was at the Pentagon the day before.
I felt violated. I was numbed by it all.
I remember driving to work to XTRA-690. As I went from my home in Rancho Bernardo, I felt a glazed look, as I drove onto Interstate 15. Citizens were standing on all the bridge overpasses hanging American flags as a show of unity.
The hours melted into days as we all watched in horror as the towers collapsed in Manhattan, knowing the death toll would be catastrophic.
It took me nearly 24-hours to find out my brothers were safe. In that span, I became a news-writer for KOGO radio as all of our stations became News-Talk driven.
Then I got word two NHL scouts were on one of the planes. Using my NHL contacts, I sadly broke the story that LA Kings scouts Ace Bailey and Mark Bavis were on the first plane, coming out of Boston, heading to training camp. They perished.
Hours became days, days became a week. The shock, the sadness, never ever went away.
Fast forward to Saturday, as I got up at 5:30am to watch the NBC coverage of the ceremonies at the 3-crash sights.
Stirring, moving, sad and then uplifting. Watching President Biden, with Obama and Clinton walk arm in arm to the Ground Zero sight, renewed my spirit. Busch was speaking in Pennsylvania. Missing was Trump, not invited or possibly a no-show, since the event was not about him-it must not matter
On this day it was not about Democrats-Republicsns but about America in mourning.
I was moved by Bruce Springsteen’s performance in the park..’We will meet again’ another uplifting moment.
I watched family members around the Memorial, raising placards of pictures of loved ones lost and identified with the ache in their hearts.
It brought back flashes in my mid of t my trip to the cemetery at Normandy, the D-D Memorial in Virginia, and the Black Granite Vietnam Memorial.
They read the names, they planted roses on the Memorials, they delivered violin music with eulogies.
And I thought to myself about the hours-days-weeks after the tragedy, how America came together, galvanized by this horror, how much stronger we became.
Then, I fast forwarded to this day, the sadness we live in, in a nation so badly fractured..
The US this day is not the USA I grew up in, nor can identify with.
Values seem gone. Divided by hate…political agendas.. racial overtones.. Covid…Climate change…Fires…Terrorism…Guns…. the Aboriton issues… Election law changes…the Big Lie….George Floyd….January 6th….Unemployment…Vaccines…Masks controversy.
An emotional division that has become a national sink hole swallowing up all the good we used to possess.
20-years after the fact, all I can feel is the singular worst moment in society brought America together, brought out the best in all of us.
I only hope going forward we find a way out of the abyss our nation is in now.
Maybe 9/11-twenty years later will allow us to rally. Always remember-never forget, the day, and what our country would become.
Tomorrow is a new day for the Chargers-Padres-Aztecs sports stories.
Today, this weekend, was the day to try and heal a hurting soul across America..