Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11/11 Life counted by milestones

Today has me thinking, like many other people in the United States of America.  How do I count or remember the milestones?  Most recently we in my family have counted life from Hurricane Ike and the major disruptions and changes it caused.  But, today reminds me of how life changed on 9/11/01.
At the time of the terrorist attacks both the Rico and I were working at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.  I recall my friend Bob coming into my office to tell me about the first plane hitting the World Trade Center (WTC).  As we worked in the Imagery Services Division (I in digital imagery) which included NASA TV we of course had access to TVs.  I followed Bob to the monitors at the front desk of the building and watched, dumbfounded.  After some time I returned to my office to get back to work only to have Bob show up again with the news of a second plane striking the second WTC tower.  I again followed him up to watch the coverage.  After a while I went back to my office again to attempt to work while in shock and now anger.  Again, Bob showed up with even more shocking and outraging information that the Pentagon had now been hit.  I told Bob that I was not going to let him out of my sight since every time we separated he came back with more troubling news.  Now the feelings were shock, anger, frustration, and now at least some concern about personal safety.  While NASA was just a potential symbolic target I did of course know that the refineries in this area were a prime target of the USSR back in the cold war days and that our area was covered by multiple "thumbprints" on the old maps of the era.  Eventually we were sent home and sat glued to our television monitor in horror and again, anger.  No matter what the politics (and I didn't always agree with him, dang TARP crap), I believe that President Bush was the right man at the right time in that position.
Watching the footage reminds me of those feelings that day and I find myself watching in stunned silence again.  I have visited Ground Zero, the hole in the ground that had been the World Trade Center towers, I have been to Pearl Harbor.  I hope to never have other sites like that to visit again.

I was setting milestones on Friday for a 500 hour audit,  how minor those seem when looking at 9/11.  Hours versus years.  The true difference in project "milestones" and real milestones.

I will post more about more milestones in the coming days, for no real reason but just for me.