12 Sep 9/11 – 9/11

On 9/11/01, I went for a run from my hotel to the Washington Monument.  Like I always did when I ran in D.C., I touched all four corners of the monument and smiled.  I was thinking that each time I touched that monument over the years, I was a different person based on the events of my life.  As I headed back to the hotel, I remember thinking that if I had stayed in the army for 20 years, I likely would have finished my career at the Pentagon in late 2001, and would have been running in a different direction that morning.  But I headed back to the hotel, and ran along the east side of the White House thinking how eerily quiet it seemed.  Little did I know at the time, but I would be one of the last people to pass along that particular path between the White House and the Treasury Department unabated.  My kids were 14 and 11 at the time, and though I didn’t know it until later that evening, had been very worried about me.

A lot has happened in the dash between 9/11 and 9/11…

On 9/11/11, I went for a bike ride with my son up Bear Mountain – about 50 miles from New York City.  At the same time the tributes were underway, we were on top of the mountain looking towards the city; and reflecting… My daughter is now 24, and we’re expecting a grandson any day now.  My son is 21, and a senior at West Point.  On 9/11/01, I remember thinking how profoundly lives had been changed so drastically, so instantaneously.  Living in Colorado, I didn’t really think mine had at the time.  I would never have imagined that we’d still be fighting wars as a result of 9/11/01, and now, the worrying roles have been reversed.  I heard Rudy Giuliani speak during half-time at an Army football game yesterday, and exhort that Nazism, Fascism and Communism had all been defeated, and what we now face would soon be relegated to the ash-heap of history.  That day can’t come soon enough…

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