Just Another Day:My alarm went off promptly at 5:15am, waking me from a dreamless slumber.  I slept in my t-shirt, shorts and socks. I am efficient. It took me exactly 6 minutes to get out of bed, brush my teeth put my contacts in and get into the car.   The car already had my equipment and the clothes I’d wear for work. It was dark and the freeway was mostly empty as I headed up the highway 101 towards San Jose, CA.  I would arrive just a few minutes before my 6:00am court time to play racquetball. It was just another Tuesday.

Something Out of a Movie:  Around 7:30am, I noticed a few people looking at the television.  It was being reported that a small private plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City.  The weather was clear in NYC, and I was wondering how could somebody accidentally hit a building on a crystal clear day?  It didn’t make sense. After showering and heading to work, I quickly realized that the day was not going to be just another Tuesday.  I checked the Yahoo front page for news and soon saw headlines about tower #1 falling. There were no streaming videos back then and we didn’t have a TV in the office, so every hour or so there were new headlines and reports about tower #2 falling.  I talked to my wife and she was glued to the TV. Then news about an airplane crash at the Pentagon, and finally another crash in a Pennsylvania field. We were under attack. It was surreal. It was something out of a movie and it was truly hard to believe.  To me, the attacks on Pearl Harbor and the assignation of JFK were historical events I learned about in school. They made movies about it. I didn’t live through it.

Have You Forgotten?  When I arrived home, I saw videos of the towers falling.  It was still hard to believe. It physically hurt to watch the television.  It brought a range of emotions from disbelief, sadness, horror to frustration and anger.  Who could do such things? What is going through a person’s mind and heart to willingly, knowingly and purposefully fly a loaded plane into a building with the intent of causing as much destruction as possible?  Evil. The worst of humanity was on display that day.

The Experiment:  On September 12, 2001, I went to the store to buy an American flag.  They were sold out. Everyone was flying the flag. There wasn’t much the average citizen could do, other than to show support and love for the country.  I finally got my flag and have been flying one every day since. It was a unifying moment in a difficult time in the nation’s history. The flag represents the country and its people.  I love the country and the flag, but the flag does not represent the government, the president, bureaucrats, politicians or a certain point of view. It is patriotic to fly and respect the flag.  The flag represents freedom and the greatest social experiment in history: The United States of America.