Remembering September 11

We will never forget.

We will always remember.

As I sit at my computer tonight writing this week’s post, I have the television on in the background. The evening news is airing a story on September 11, 2001.

Earlier today, I took a few minutes during my lunch hour to browse Facebook, as I do every day, and I read post after post from my friends and family reflecting on the terrorist attacks. As I sat in solemn silence eating my lunch, I vowed to myself again, “I will never forget.”

Much like our parents, who remember where they were and what they were doing the moment they learned of the death of President Kennedy; and our grandparents, who remember the attack on Pearl Harbor; September 11, 2001, will forever be etched in our collective memories.

I remember that morning as clearly as if it happened yesterday. I had started my morning routine as normal and had left our apartment for my morning commute to work. As I pulled out of the driveway, I turned on the radio and the station I had been listening to the night before was airing The Howard Stern Show.

I’m not really a fan of Howard Stern or his program, but I was transfixed and couldn’t change the channel as I heard confusion, chaos, and screaming from one of his co-hosts as he ran down a street in New York City and described what he saw.

I was only getting bits and pieces of real information, and as I called my wife and told her to turn on CNN, I heard him say that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I immediately turned my truck around and came home to be with my wife.

If I am being completely honest, I have to say we were both more than a little frightened in those early moments after the first plane crashed into one of the towers, because we did not yet know the severity of the events still to come.

I unlocked the apartment door and walked into the living room the moment the second plane flew into the second tower. We watched in horror as we realized that what we first thought was a tragic accident, was actually a planned evil attack on our country.

We spent the rest of the day on the sofa, glued to CNN, grasping for any new bit of information that might be released. I know we stayed up late into the night, shocked by everything we had seen that day, and we said, “We will never forget.”

In the months that followed, our country faced a lot of uncertainty. Our company suffered the early effects of the struggling economy, and I was laid off the week after Thanksgiving.

Against what some might consider “better judgment,” I started my own business and, for the next six and a half years, enjoyed some of the best years of my life enhancing my skills and the art of landscape design.

It’s difficult to describe all the things I learned about business and myself during that time, but I learned many lessons that “I will never forget.”

Eleven years later, I look back and see how far I’ve come in my life and career since that tragic day. I’ve had so many blessings for which I am truly grateful. But when I stop and reflect, the memories of that day come rushing back, and I am reminded, “I will never forget.”

Do you remember where you were when you heard the tragic news the morning of September 11 th ? If you would like to share, I would love to hear your story. Feel free to leave a comment below, send me a tweet, or even an email. I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a great weekend!

Boyd Coleman is a landscape architect in Phoenix, Arizona. He can be reached on twitter at @CDGLA or email: