I will never forget 9/11.
I was eating breakfast at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, when I saw the first plane hit on TV. I rushed to the office just after the second plane hit the WTC, grabbed my recorder and pens and went to the grounds of the White House.
Secret Service officers were shushing people away from the White House with MP5s pointed in all directions. The White House roof bristled with black-clad snipers and scopes. Smoke rose from the just-hit Pentagon directly to the south. F-16 and and F-15 fighters streaked overhead as security officers began pushing people further and further up Pennsylvania Ave. yelling that another suicide plane was inbound.
That one hit Shanksville, PA.
I went to the Pentagon on 9/12 to survey the damage. It was a weird feeling after all the stress and restrictions of the day of the attack. Now it was eerily quiet and as a credentialed Pentagon reporter I could go as close as I wanted. I remember the smell of burning wood thick in the air -- evidence of the still-smoldering rafters in the otherwise imposing stone building.
From then on it was war. Everything I did from that day forward in my career has been somehow influenced by the 9/11 attacks. It's like our grandparents' generation who lived through Pearl Harbor, but for many of us (Kit Up! readers) whose careers are so closely tied to the military, it had a much deeper effect. It has literally shaped a large portion of my life for the last nine years.
So on this anniversary of this generation's Day of Infamy, I'd invite you to share with us your thoughts on that horrible day and please be sure to watch our Military.com-produced video commemorating 9/11 through the eyes of a young fireman who made one of his first calls on that day.