Five years ago, I remember having the day off for paternal leave. I was standing in front of the television holding my then 10-day old daughter when I saw the image of the first plane hit the World Trade Center. I recall shouting to my wife to come see what had happened. When the second plane hit, I handed my daughter to my wife and said, “see you later!” And I immediately drove into work. I heard the plane hit the Pentagon and the subsequent news reports on the radio.
My boss at the time was Lt Col. Oliver North who had been due to fly into Reagan National Airport that morning. North actually witnessed the wreckage at the Pentagon from the air and after he worked his way into the city from lockdown, we proceeded to broadcast for more than 20 straight hours and several days thereafter.
Today I was at the Pentagon and had the opportunity to ask Sec. Of Defense Donald Rumsfeld a question. I asked him what he believed was the “will of the people five years later?”
Sec. Rumsfeld told me that he has “enormous confidence in the American people” because of what the people of this nation have been through – a revolutionary war, a civil war, two world wars and a long Cold War. He also said that politics aside, “the American people find their way to right decisions.”
The thing I learned on Sept 11th, 2001 was that the world my daughter will have to grow up in is a very different world forever changed by the events of that day. And it is my sincere hope that who ever is chosen to be our elected leaders will never forget that nothing could ever be more important than the safety and security of this great nation. And God Bless every Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, Guardsman, Fire Fighter, Policeman, Doctor, Nurse or First Responder that have made and continue to make incredible sacrifices to protect us.