I knew all day what day it was. I put the flag out at sunrise. Had a short conversation with a colleague in Frankfurt who shared his remembrances of that day from his perspective. But for the most part it was just another routine day at the home office.
But then on the way home from practice pickup I was sitting at a red light. The sun was quickly sinking to the west. A couple of blocks away I could see the giant American flag at the outlet mall at half staff, flowing gently in the breeze. Then into my peripheral vision flew an airplane. A Southwest Airlines 737 on approach to Love Field. He was flying low and fast like the Southwest jockeys are wont to do.
Framed there just for a second was the setting sun, the flag, and the airliner and it all came back. The confusion. The disbelief. Shock. Grief. Anger. All in a few hot seconds. And I felt guilt for going about my business as if it were just another day at the home office.
We should never forget September 11, 2001. Or take it for granted. I never will again.