MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Sixteen years ago today, our nation was forever altered by a sequence of four events that forever took away our innocence.
Where were you when the nightmare began at 8:46 a.m.?
I remember where I was. I was sitting at home; I was home sick from school, and my mom was reaching for the remote to turn the television off when the breaking news hit. The North Tower of the World Trade Center was struck.
I remember being speechless. I turned to my mom and she was crying. Neither of us knew what to say. At that point, there was nothing to say.
The nightmare continued at 9:03 a.m., when a second plane struck the South Tower.
34 minutes later, the Pentagon was struck by a third hijacked plane, and at 10:03 a.m. a fourth plane meant for the White House crashed in a Pennsylvania field.
The rest is history, as they say, and the tragic events of that day will be forever remembered by everyone who bore witness to or was affected by the events that took place.
“I remember the morning of Sept. 11 waking up to a phone call, somebody said, “You need to turn the news on”,” now-retired three-time Cup champion Tony Stewart recalled of that fateful day. “I said, “Which news?” They go, “Doesn’t matter.” And you realized really quickly why it didn’t matter, because every channel had it on.”
“But I was laying in bed, and I never got out of bed till six in the evening watching what was happening in disbelief, just could not believe what we were seeing, and that our country had come under attack like that. It’s something that in my lifetime I’d never seen before.”
I was like Tony. I didn’t leave my house that day. I couldn’t. What happened that morning was equal parts stunning and transfixing, but in the worst possible way.
You wondered how we could go on, how we could fight, and maybe most importantly of all, how we could help all of those affected to get through some of the darkest hours in our nation’s history.
But as a group, we managed to get through the day, and then we got through the month, and then we got through the year. And slowly, we all, as a community and a country, began to move forward again.
We stood not as one, but together. That was a positive feeling that came out of so many negatives on that fateful day.
The years have gone on, but we have never forgotten. And just as we as a community did 16 years ago, today we stand together in remembrance of those lives who were tragically lost that fateful day — firefighters, rescue workers, police officers, and the workers and citizens who all went to work that day expecting to come home and never did.
It was not a day that changed us as much as it showed us who we really were, and what we were capable of being as a united people and a country when we stand together as one.
It’s a feeling that every year on this day, I pray we all strive to remember and recapture as we look towards our future.
May God bless and keep the families of the victims, Godspeed to the victims, and God bless the U.S.A.
We will always remember.
We will never forget.
The opinions expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of Race Chaser Online, the Performance Motorsports Network, Scorpion Radio Group, their sponsors or other contributors.
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 23-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
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