Do you remember where you were and what you were doing on September 11th, 2001?
I was at work.
More specifically at sheriff department in the office of Bob S., polygraph examiner.
He was prepping to give a polygraph to an individual I suspected had embezzled money from his former employer. Another person had been fired for it, but after interviewing everyone in that particular office I had it narrowed down to two people. The person who was fired (to eliminate her) and the person who I thought was exhibiting body language that told me he was lying.
During the polygraph, the first plane hit. We found out during a break. We were glued to the tv set in the break room. It was a room full of utterly silent people, except for the news anchors commentary, even they couldn’t take it and lapsed into silence from time-to time. The pictures and video left little to the imagination. We had to go back and do the rest of our job, finish the polygraph. When we were done all hell had broken loose. My suspect failed the polygraph and then admitted he had taken the money.
Our minds were on New York, then Washington DC, and the U.S.
When I got back to the office, no one was there except me. I started calling family and friends to check on them. My kids were safe. I remembered the feeling in my stomach, sinking, sick, dread.
Later they were asking for volunteers to go to New York and help. A number of people signed up, including me, but a “special unit” at the P.D. took it upon themselves to pack up and go. One guy who came back from doing Critical Incident Stress Debriefing, said it was brutal, and he will never be the same.
I have had the opportunity to visit the 9-11 memorial in New York City. It was and still is under construction. The pools were finished. It was an awe inspiring experience. Even if you did not lose someone close to you, you could not help but to feel the stark utter anguish. If you go, don’t be angry at yourself for the tears. NO ONE can keep them from falling.