When you think of all that happened since that day, it doesn’t seem like it flew by. It has been 10 years since 9/11 but everyone can tell you everything they did that day and where they were when it happened.
For me and I believe my generation, it was the most significant event ever. We didn’t live through either of the World Wars. This was our Pearl Harbor.
This is a sports blog so I don’t want to get into all of the politics or religious ramifications. But there are three things I will never forget about that day.
The first was the actual disaster. I was doing a radio show on 1430-AM when our news director Jay Anderson burst into the room and announced a plane had hit the World Trade Center. My first thought was it must have been a prop plane off course. As we know, it was much worse.
When you’re watching something like this, it’s hard to get your mind around it. We continued to talk Florida-Tennessee for a few minutes with our eyes riveted to the TV. Then the second plane hit. And the station switched to news.
The magnitude took awhile to sink in. I was talking to my wife. I still had to go to interviews.
“Hey, something just fell off one of the buildings,” I told her.
“No,” she said, “that is the building coming down.”
Which brings me to the second thing — going to a press conference with America under attack. I think it shows how stunned we all were that Steve Spurrier would stand behind a podium and answer questions about the Vols. Mostly, he talked about what had just happened. Rex Grossman talked about how angry he was. I thought he might enlist right there.
My third memory is from as week later. We were getting on a plane for Kentucky after the previous week’s games had been postponed. The sun wasn’t all the way up as we boarded. I’m a pretty good flyer but I was scared to get on the plane. It was kind of like how you were scared to go in the water after you saw “Jaws.”
Believe me, I was studying the other passengers. Then, two Gator football players who weren’t playing and instead were going home for the weekend got on. I felt safer for some reason.
And here we are 10 years later. The video of the first plane crashing into the building is no less shocking. The stories of heroic actions are no less inspiring. The tragic deaths are not less heartbreaking.
We will never forget. We can’t.