It’s a moment in time I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
Twenty years ago at this exact moment, I was pulling into the company parking garage and had no earthly idea how the world was about to change in just the next few hours.
We had just moved to Ashburn 18 months prior, and my new office was in Tyson’s Corner, overlooking the Galleria Mall. Most of that time wasn’t spent in that office, but was instead used flying back and forth to Los Angeles to oversee a division my company had in Carson. Half those flights were on American Airlines, the other half on United, as I usually left on a Monday or Tuesday if there were meetings scheduled on Mondays at our offices, I used those two because they were the only direct flights out of Dulles to LAX.
I was sitting in my office on a phone call that morning when someone walked down the hall and said a plane had hit the Twin Towers. My first instinct was they were describing a small private plane that had gone off course and collided with the building, so after my call, I walked down to the conference room where a television was on to see what was going on. It seemed like half our staff was watching.
I arrived just in time to see the second plane hit the World Trade Center.
Stunned would not adequately describe my reaction. This was like Hollywood movie special effects I was watching, but it was playing out in real life. What in the world was happening, we all thought.