I remember exactly where I was when the Twin Towers came down and the Pentagon was hit on Sept. 11, 2001. My Mama and I were in downtown Atlanta at the driver's license division of the Georgia Department of Transportation.
I remember calling my office that morning because I needed to get in touch with a co-worker and discovering a plane had slammed into one of the towers. I was on the phone with Charlie when a plane flew into the Pentagon.
In the course of a few hours, everything we thought about the United States being a "safe haven" against terrorism was gone.
Planes were grounded and life as we knew it ceased to exist... I was just six weeks from my first plane ride so you can imagine how nervous I was!
I remember driving home and calling my editor to see if they wanted me to come in and help with the coverage... my paper was working on a special section that would come out that afternoon. I took Mama home and then went into my office... because no journalist worth their salt would want to miss the biggest news story of their career.
In the days that followed, we found locals who were worried about friends and family who worked in the Towers or the Pentagon. I would later interview firefighters who were in the Twin Towers that day and watched as their "brothers" walked in and never walked out again.
I've read stories in the New York Times and the Washington Post this week about survivors and widows who spoke about the challenges of healing and moving on.
We as a nation continue to do the same... heal from the loss of innocence that occurred that day.