THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

20 and 10

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Dates like yesterday show how fast time moves. September 11th, 20 years ago is the only birthday of my mothers that I missed spending with her because I was working for a news organization and the news doesn’t get much bigger than that day. Before that September 11th, 2001, this day was always very special, but from 2001 on, it has a dual meaning. This also signals her 10th birthday since her passing. I miss her very much as does my family.

I sat here a few minutes before knowing what I wanted to express about that day. So I paused and went to look at today’s weather forecast. It’s supposed to be a beautiful day here today September 11th, 2021, much like it was 20 years ago. Bright blue skies, about 80 degrees, and I’m reminded of that calm feeling I had that morning. I think I drove into D.C. around daybreak. It started like any other day except that I knew it was going to be a short workday because I wanted to take my Mom to a late lunch to celebrate her day.

It started off like normal going over the reported overnight issues with the editorial systems. I had come to the newsroom floor to talk with one of the other support technicians and he told me it looked like a plane had hit one of the towers and pointed to one of the overhead TVs. I remember both commenting how does a plane not see that on such a clear day and what the hell is he doing at that altitude? We half-watched for a few minutes and started to talk about a problem and then the second plane hit.

That is a moment when you know that the first plane was no accident. The day was a blur of massive activity the next several days but this anticipated short day turned into 18 hours if my memory is still intact. Watching people flee town after the plane hit the Pentagon and then seeing the place look like a ghost town when I went out to try to find lunch. Such a strange sight, empty streets in DC at lunchtime., soldiers at intersections, and smoke over the city.

One of the systems under our watch was the incoming wire service photos. I can’t remember how many different images I viewed that day but it was a lot. I found myself when I had a free moment always returning to look for new images. I guess I haven’t changed much in 20 years. This week I’ve been watching as many of the tv specials about it as I can and also seeing those old images come up again in the system as stories are written about the day and time that has now passed.

I’m going to see my parents today and pay my respects. I think while I’m there I’ll wander over to the Pentagon Memorial at Arlington and add a prayer.

Steel from World Trade Center Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • The best words about September 11, come from survivors, family members and friends of loved ones lost.
  • It’s so easy to take feeling good for granted. Don’t you do it.
  • Even though I see my grown children often, I still miss them all the time I don’t.
  • I’m looking forward to a beautiful Sunday. I hope you are also.

Author: Mike Hartley

With a lifetime and a half in the Newspaper industry I'm preparing for my retirement career as an Artist, Writer, Photographer and Video content provider. I'm a proud father of two wonderful children and I'm still married to the first girl I fell in love with and probably only one that would have me.

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