Where were you on 9/11 ?

On September 9, 2001 I was 52 years old, married, living in Port St Lucie Florida, and working as a building inspector for the Town of Jupiter Fl.

I was making my usual rounds doing building inspections. Mostly swimming pools under construction that day. I received a cell phone from my son Jimmy.

“Dad, did ya hear? We’re at war.”

“What are you talking about; we’re at war?”

“New York City is under attack. They’ve crashed a plane into the World Trade Center”

“ I can’t believe this. Let me call Grandfather. He stays up on all of the news. I’ll believe it if he says its happening”

It was true. We were at war. I was numb. I was. . .  I don’t know what I was.

I went back to the building department office. Did they know? If we were at war why didn’t I get a call on the Nextel.

There was a TV on in back. Some of the supervisors were watching it. The first tower was burning. In the front of the office it was business as usual, only a little quieter. People were still coming to the front counter to apply for and pick up building permits as usual.

I saw the second plane attack. It was unlike anything I had ever seen. It was very real. But everyone was still working. Like little robots working their mundane jobs.

I left the office after a few minutes. I was upset, sick, not knowing what to do. And like a little robot I got into my city truck and went out to do my next inspection. Everything appeared so normal. But it didn’t feel normal at all. This is not normal. I got to the next inspection. I don’t recall what it was, but I do recall it failed. I was starting to write a correction notice and I stopped.

Our country is under attack. I don’t know what’s going to happen next. And here I am writing a correction notice over this stupid swimming pool.

I called my supervisor. I told him I did not know what I was supposed to be doing, but I was certain inspecting swimming pools while our country was under attack was not the right thing.

With that I went home. For the next three days I never left the TV.

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