I'm struck by how sharply I still remember what happened eight years ago today. Over on the Gaijin Forum a couple of years back, I asked the question, "Where were you and what were you doing when you heard the news?" This is what I wrote then, and I invite you to share the moment that you first realized what was happening:
I was at the studio when Karl called me from home, and said that I'd better turn on the TV or get to the computer.
"An airliner hit the World Trade Center," he said. "While I was watching CNN, another one hit the other tower."
"Another one? Another airliner?" I had already opened up my homepage, the USAToday website. There was a grainy photo of the smoldering towers. "Holy shit."
"Yeah, this wasn't an accident," Karl said.
I got off the phone with him, and called out to Brian as I walked into the breakroom. As I was looking around for the remote, he walked in.
"A what hit the what?" I turned on the TV, and we sat in stunned silence. We watched as the footage of the second plane hitting was run and rerun. We watched the towers both come down. There was disbelief as they reported that the Pentagon had been hit, and then the crash in Pennsylvania. For some reason, I had trouble sitting still, and kept getting up to go to the rest room, to wash my hands, to go outside, to do anything but sit there and feel completely unable to Do Something. We all tried, with some success, to at least call and e-mail friends and colleagues in New York, to make sure they were okay.
For the rest of the day, as we all showed up at the studio, we wondered: Are they going to hit us next?
So, where were you?