MSgt. Shawn M. Parker, USAF, Headqaurters U.S. AFRICOM, Air Force Personnel Strength Manager Military Personnel Branch wrote:
My wife and I were in Manhattan on 9/11. It was to be the last day of her first trip to New York City, my hometown. I showed her everything from Bronx Zoo to Coney Island to include the famous views from atop the WTC, only six days before they were struck. For me, that day is as vivid as if it were yesterday. From our hotel room on the lower east side, I heard the first plane as it crossed the sky before impact. I knew something was seriously wrong. It was the first and only time I’d ever heard a plane so close to downtown.
After the second attack, we left in search for a working phone to contact my unit with. In the center of the city, surrounded by the multitude of screens in Time Square, we watched the mayhem unfold at the towers… until they fell down.
That day I witnessed more than the attacks…I witnessed genorousity and humility I’d never seen before in my fellow New Yorkers. Crossing the city back and forth, looking for available phones and a safehaven, we spent the remainder of the day comforting each other and offering help where we could.
Though saddened yet grateful for not having lost a family member or friend, that day strengthened my pride as an American and solidified my decision to continue my military service.
For me, 9/11 will always be remembered and shared.
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