Where Were You On That September Day? I Remember Where I Was
Seventeen years ago today, all of our lives changed and so did our nation. The sight of those planes crashing into the World Trade Centers in New York and at the Pentagon will forever be in our memory, and we will never be able to forget those images.
Where were you seventeen years ago? I know where I was. I was working for the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office patrol division that Tuesday, September 11th, 2001.
That day, my area of patrol was in Sulphur. I was on Henning Drive watching the stop sign at the end of the road for people who would run the sign right by the school.
I will never forget when my radio went off and the distress in the dispatcher's voice when she came on the air. She said, "All available Sulphur units stand by for traffic," and she sounded urgent about it.
She then started directing different Sulphur and Westside units to different locations. She was sending units to the Sulphur courthouse, City Hall, and I was sent to the Carlyss Law Enforcement center, which at the time was located at the Carlyss airport.
Not knowing what was going on, I hurried my unit to the substation. Once I arrived, I swiftly jumped out of my patrol car and ran inside. When I walked into the lobby, I encountered several people all huddled around a TV set, and the first thing I noticed was the utter disbelief on their faces.
I then took a look at the television to see what was causing them to all stand motionless like statues. As I turned, I saw the first tower with smoke coming out of the top of the building during the newscast.
Not two minutes later, I saw something in the corner of the screen. It was another plane flying toward the other tower. It seemed like time stood still, and then the plane struck the building.
The air immediately left the room we were standing in. We all stood there numb. I remember that after I came out of the fog I was in, I called my mom and told her to put a blank VCR tape in the machine and hit record. (Yes, a VCR.)
After a few minutes, the radio really started going off. At this point, dispatch was sending units to all federal and parish offices to secure the area and close them down. We had people evacuate the areas for safety.
I mean, at this point no one knew the extent of the attacks and the targets, so for safety, all measures were taken. The rest of the day was just a blur. I just remember going from one place to another, securing locations.
The events of that day will always be with me, especially since my job was to secure the safety of the community and public officials.
In the years since, I have watched several documentaries on the events that day and I still shake my head. Every time I see the video footage, it still brings me back to that Tuesday morning on September 11th, 2001.
One of my missions was to visit Ground Zero where the World Trade Centers once stood and fortunately, last year I got that chance. I was filled with so many emotions. Proud, sad, mad, and so many other feelings.
Such a senseless act on our country and innocent lives lost. May they forever Rest In Peace.