Indelibly imprinted on our brains. Never forgotten.
On that day, I was at home with The Boy. He was absent from school, due to sickness. He was lying in my bed, watching cartoons on the TV.
Windows open, our upstairs neighbor shouted down to me, urging me to turn on the TV. On the Today show, I watched in quiet horror as the images were shown on the screen.
Neighbors gathered out on the sidewalk to discuss what was seen. We lived in Pittsburgh then. The prior year, The Boy and I lived about 20 miles from Shanksville, where Flight 93 ("Let's roll!") crashed in a field.
I called our previous babysitter and asked if she saw or heard anything. She always took the kids for a walk at about 9:00 each morning, for her daily visit to the post office. She saw the plane, flying much lower than planes should - this was minutes before it crashed.
Early rumors and reports in Pittsburgh said that that plane was due to hit the city. Workers in high rise buildings were told to go home; my daughter Erin left work early that day. As I stood on my porch and watched the trolley running in the middle of our street, I saw the concerned faces of commuters who were having a very early rush hour.
After the crush of riders departed the city, an eerie quiet fell over our neighborhood. We could see an occasional fighter jet fly over - I assume they came from the Air National Guard post near Pittsburgh International Airport.
We lost our sense of security that day. We lost our innocence.
Here's a youtube video my brother took on a family visit to NYC in the spring of 2001: