I work for the Feds (yes, I'm here to help) in Silver Spring, MD, but consider KC /Independence where I was raised. That Tuesday was a busy day as usual. We had a meeting that morning and our public affairs staff had the TV on and saw the first plane. The meeting ended and I called my wife. She told me what she saw on TV... then the second plane hit. We kept talking and then she said something happened in downtown DC. We hung up. I asked a friend and he said the smoke was from the Pentagon. I called back to my wife and simply asked, "Do you want me to come home?" She said, "Yes." I collected my work, not knowing how long I might be away, told my boss I was leaving. I told him one jet is an accident, two is terrorism. I was lucky to get out of the underground garage early. Cell phones were crazy. I finally got a hold of my parents at Lake Lotawana and told my dad to turn on the TV -- I told him it seemed like Pearl Harbor all over again. He and Mom had no idea what was happening.
After debating how to get the heck out of a target city, I finally I got home. Family saw safe. I mowed the lawn -- just to do something to get away from the TV. My friend 2-3 doors down is an American Airlines pilot. He was home that day. Thank God. The very jet he flew (I mean the same freakin' jet) was the one that hit the Pentagon. Later he went down to clean out the pilot's locker and take his belongings to his family -- what a hell of a job, but he was the right man to help them start healing.
The sky here that day was cloudless and a perfect blue. I think that is what I shall remember the most... that and no contrails in the sky for days...