A Perfect Tuesday Morning, Marred by Tragedy

It has become that event for our generation and perhaps many others where you still remember exactly where you were on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

I was on my way into work downtown when the discussion between Jim Irwin and the morning team on 620 WTMJ about the recent Packer game was interrupted.

The news man broke in and I thought at first "how rude."

Then as he explained the crash, I thought, "what a terrible accident."

By the time I got into the parking structure, news was leaning toward the plane being a commercial jet, and I still felt that something must've happened to the pilot to create this situation.

However, as events unfolded, we soon realized things were indeed very different and would never be the same. I recalled at one point during the day the memory of waking up to that same news man make a pun of it being 9-1-1, like an emergency.

I also recall feeling sorry for Jane Bradley Pettit, who passed away and was being honored on the front page of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Her face looked at me from a box along a downtown street that was virtually abandoned by noon on that day. No one would remember her legacy in the fog of the crisis.

Our building was not evacuated, but the skywalk to the Reuss Federal Plaza and the entire building itself, was. A guard would remain at that access point for at least the next year to check all persons walking through before they entered the federal building from Grand Avenue.

Today is eerily the same. Clear blue skies, crisp air...a normal Tuesday by any assessment.

I breathe a silent prayer of rememberance and thanks, shed a small tear, and proceed with the work of the day.

Paul Peardon September 11, 2012 at 02:31 PM
11 years ago today, I was on my way to the office when the reports started coming in on the radio. When I arrived at work I went directly into the lunchroom where the TV was already on. We watched the events unfold with fear, sadness and anger. My wife, Angela was home on bed rest with our oldest son Jacob who would not arrive for another month. When I arrived back home that night Ang (my wife) and I cried together and wondered if we even wanted to bring a child into this world. I put a spotlight on my flag that night and have ever since. The resolve of our leaders, policemen, firefighters, emergency workers and citizens during that time (and always) reminded me, and I have never been more convinced that the United States of America is the GREATEST country in the world! Thank you for sharing your story Denise. We must all Never forget...


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