I have only had 2 moments in my life where time seemed to stop. The first is when the space shuttle Challenger blew up. I was a kid in high school and word got to us between classes. Everyone spent the rest of the day riveted to TV news watching anything we could find. This was long before cable news so there wasn't much other than watching the same video of the explosion over and over and over. It's an often used cliche but time did seem to stop.
9/11/2001 was a different day. I was running late for work and heard it live on the radio on the Mancow show. Before the second plane hit all I could imagine was a small plane and an incompetent pilot. The reality of what was going on never occurred to me until I got in front of a TV and saw the video of the second plane hitting.
There were a few other things I remembered from that day. It was the first time I ever saw the internet truly crash from everyone trying to get on cnn.com all at one. I also remembered the sick feeling I had watching the towers fall live on TV. I could not shake the thought that I had just witnessed a thousand people die. I remembered the news casters talking about jumpers.
I remember the wild theory and speculation about who and why. I don't believe the wild theories that the US government did it. No I don't believe the towers were blew up with explosives or that anyone in the government knew it was going to happen in advance. In my personal opinion the government at the time was simply incompetent and arrogant. I believe that the tragic moment was taken advantage of by a political opportunist to do promote other agendas that existed before.
So now it's 10 years, 2 1/2 wars and thousands of lives later.
This country has changed, the world has changed and I have changed. The moment the planes hit was a moment I can't forget. It's burned into my memory just as much as the moment the shuttle Challenger blew up.