It was a sunny September day and we were loading cows onto the trailer to take them to the state fair in Puyallup. We love showing cows at that fair and my brother, Dan, had taken vacation time from his new job in New York to join us for the first time since he finished grad school.
September 11, 2001, started off like any other. That is until the news spread of an airplane flying into the World Trade Center. Hearing it on the radio was surreal. Dan’s new office was in the second tower at the World Trade Center. The one that was just hit. Minutes later the other tower was struck.
Communicating with anyone in the area was difficult for a while and it wasn’t until later in the day that we heard about everything that had happened. Knowing Dan was safe provided great peace of mind.
The next day it started to hit us – what could have happened if Dan hadn’t flown back to Washington for the fair? Some of his coworkers made it out alive, but many did not, including his manager and 25 others.
First responders are heroes and while I’ve always admired them, my respect for them is so much more now.
First responders put themselves in danger every day to protect their neighbors and fellow citizens. I remember we hung the American flag at the fair that morning in 2001; it has always been an important part of our fair decorations.
I’ve been to funerals and buried buddies from college and never really cried, but I don’t know what it is about 9/11. Seeing a documentary or pictures always brings me to tears. That day touched so many Americans, even those that had no ties to New York City and the towers. It especially touched us.
September 11th changed all of us and brought Americans together. Later that week as we were driving home from the fair on I-90, patriotic signs and flags were everywhere. I cried the whole way home.
Dan has not missed a state fair since 2001 and it has become a tradition that brings our family together with one of our greatest passions, our cows.
Maureen and Dan Baginski