9/11 – A Day of Infamy

There are a few days that will live in infamy: Infamy as defined by Websters Dictionary:

1: evil reputation brought about by something grossly criminal, shocking, or brutal.

2a: an extreme and publicly known criminal or evil act.

b: the state of being infamous.

The bombing of Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941; the assassination of JFK, November 22, 1963; the attack on the USA; Tuesday, September 11, 2001. That one always gets to me, 9/11. I remember the day clearly, I remember what I was doing and I remember the feelings; the mixed emotions and the actions that occurred shortly thereafter.

The stories, the horrors, the shock and dismay and the coming together of people looking for ways to help in whatever way they could. The theatre show Come From Away certainly provides one perspective on lending a helping hand, a true story about the best of human kindness.

My own experience in helping out during this time came about because of my martial arts training. One of my teachers, Adrian sensei, worked in the aviation industry. He was concerned for the flight crews on passenger jets and he wanted to help out by providing some self-defense classes.

Over the course of that year, a few of us dojo members travelled to a facility close to the airport and trained some of the aircrews in basic self-defense. The training provided a confidence boost, some exercise and stress relief if nothing else.

My memory of 9/11 — Tuesday, September 11, 2001 – 8:00 am.
My morning routine in those days; driving into the office, first thing. A quick stop at Starbucks for my morning coffee and listening to jazz.FM 91; my antidote to stress.
I always listened to jazz.Fm in those days; the morning host, always got me in the groove. There was never any talk of news in those old jazz airwaves, the news was passed on from the BBC.
Arriving at my office that morning I was greeted with a strange scene. I shared the office with five coworkers. They were all clustered around my portable cassette radio. What sacrilege was this? Normally my radio stayed in my office, it was my radio.
I mumbled out a good morning and headed directly into my office. Opening my briefcase; acting like this was a normal morning. I opened the lid on my take-out coffee cup and sampled my Starbucks treat; warm banana bread. I contemplated how best to inquire as to the theft of my radio.
Calming down; well-caffeinated and with my hunger satisfied, I venture out into the general office area.
“What’s up”, I ask with a brave front?
“You haven’t heard? A passenger plane just crashed into the World Trade Centre in New York City”.