About the Author

Woody is a 10 year veteran of the US Coast Guard, where he has served at various units including the International Training Division and Maritime Security Response Team. He has held qualifications including Deployable Team Leader/Instructor, Direct Action Section Team Leader, and Precision Marksman – Observer. He has deployed/instructed on five continents and served in quick reaction force roles for multiple National Special Security Events in the US.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

12 years ago today...

I was walking to Macroeconomics class.  When I arrived, someone said they had heard a plane had hit the World Trade Center.  I remember thinking "What kind of lousy pilot can't see a skyscraper in the middle of Manhattan?"  Other cadets wanted to turn on the TV in the classroom to watch the news, but the instructor wouldn't let us because he wanted to get on with the class.  After I returned to my company area, I saw messages written on our company whiteboard - "Bomb explodes outside State Department," "Pentagon attacked," "All airplanes grounded."  The news in those first chaotic hours was filled with rumors, many of which later proved false.  My fellow cadets, all 100 of us, crammed into a room designed for  1/5 of that capacity, glued to the TV as we watched the tragedy unfold.  Several of the cadets had family in Manhattan, one had a father stationed at the Pentagon.  As news slowly trickled in, they began to get word that their families were safe.  Services and moments of silence were held that night.  Taps played every night at the Academy at 2200, but it had a special meaning that night.  Tradition held that anyone in the passageway froze during Taps, so many cadets would normally rush to be in their rooms before it began playing.  That night, I watched as every cadet in the company stepped into the passageway at the first note.  We all knew that fundamentally, something had changed. 

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