Remembering 9/11

Just like many of you, I won’t ever forget where I was on 9/11. I was in Fairfield Bay, Arkansas watching CNN in my office as the second plane flew into the World Trade Center. I can remember the very moment the second plane crashed into the building right there on my television screen coming to the realization that this whole thing wasn’t a pilot error or gross miscalculation by an airline and that our nation was really under attack. I can also remember the panic once we all realized that there was another plane that had crashed into the Pentagon and another was unaccounted for, possibly headed toward the white house.

I can also remember feeling an assortment of emotions that morning as others crowded around the television with me in amazement. I can remember my initial anger as I watched smoke billowing out of the two towers as people scrambled around the streets of New York covered in ash that someone would do something like this. I can also remember feeling like I had been punched in the gut once I calculated how many people were on board those airplanes and how many were in the World Trade Center unable to get out. I can also remember the confusion that soon followed as to why in the world someone would go to all of the trouble and planning to orchestrate such an attack on us. Being someone that follows the news pretty closely, I knew immediately it was an Al Qaeda attack.

I can also remember the look on President Bush’s face the moment a member of staff approached him as he was sitting in a classroom full of children reading a book and whispered in his ear what had happened. I can also remember hearing the story of Todd Beamer and the people on Flight 93 that decided they weren’t going down without a fight. I can also remember hearing countless, painful tales from people that received phone calls from their loved ones telling them goodbye before their plane went down or their building collapsed. I can also remember the heroic men and women of the New York City Fire Department and Police Department marching into battle at ground zero as bravely as they possibly could knowing that there was a high probability that they would not make it out alive.

  • Video Re-enactment from Flight 93 (YouTube)

I can also remember seeing American Flags hanging up all over town as a sign of support. I can also remember when politicians from both sides of the aisle came together to show unity during this time. Something we haven’t seen since. I can also remember President Bush standing on a burned out fire truck at Ground Zero holding a megaphone announcing to the world that we would get the people that brought down the buildings and orchestrated this attack. I can also remember watching as David Letterman took to the airwaves the following week after the attacks and starting his monologue in a way that I had never seen him act before. I remember Rudy Giuliani leading New Yorkers in a way that few of us would have been able to.

I can also remember watching as we invaded Iraq a short time later wondering why in the world we were going into Iraq when Al Qaeda was supposedly operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but I was afraid to question this military action too loudly because everyone else seemed to be on board with the plan, and I was still pretty angry and wanted desperately to see us flex our muscle militarily. I still have questions as to why we proceeded in the manner we did militarily post 9/11 but I will leave that debate to the people that get paid to talk about it. I can remember the huge sense of pride I felt watching on CNN as the United States put on one of the most impressive military operations of all time. I can remember feeling like we weren’t defeated for the first time in a long time as our brave men and women went into battle.

Whenever I see footage of the planes hitting the World Trade Center today in remembrance of the 10th anniversary of this horrific day, all of these emotions come back just like it was yesterday, but yet it was 10 years ago. It’s funny because I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday but I can remember all of these things I have mentioned so vividly…

Fast forward to present day, Bin Laden, the evil mastermind behind this deadly plot is dead and buried at sea, compliments of our nations military. Our politicians are back to arguing with one another over every tiny piece of legislation. There are still radical extremists across the world that would like to do us harm, but our intelligence community seems to be working together a lot better than before, but as a nation we have grown a part again, divided by politics, race, religion, and a host of other reasons. I know that this might be misunderstood but I am going to say it anyway, out of all the bad that happened on this day 10 years ago, a lot of great things were born that we have watched gradually erode. Will we ever be as unified as we were immediately following 9/11?

About Cotton Rohrscheib

Cotton Rohrscheib is the CEO of Rohrscheib Capital Partners. Over the past 20 years he has been associated with numerous projects in the IT, Healthcare, and Agriculture industries. Born a serial entrepreneur, Cotton has personally been involved in several startups, product launches, and brand acquisitions during his career and has consulted on hundreds of projects for clients around the world. Today he still services the marketing and consulting needs for clients while trying to maintain a healthy balance between work and being a good husband and father to his wife, Donna, and their son, Spencer.