"...They were at war against us. We were not yet at war against them."
(Condoleezza Rice in a PBS interview)
The events of September 11, 2001 shocked the world, but the most heartbreaking stories tell how they shocked people's individual worlds. We weren't there in New York City, as some couples were, celebrating a honeymoon. We weren't near home either. We were out of the country in Mexico.
When we were married on the 8th, we raced to the Hotel from the reception. It was carefree, wonderful and everything a new marriage should be. We had no idea.
When we got up early the next morning, we had one of the craziest cab rides to Portland International Airport. Speeding and swerving through town I thought, "I'd hate to die the day after getting married." We were off to Cabo San Lucas. We were clueless.
And when they stopped the 737 in the middle of the tarmac, pulled up a set of stairs to the side of the plane and had us march single file 500 yards to the terminal. And when we had to have our shoes checked for hoof-and-mouth disease it couldn't have been farther from our minds.
Two days later, we were on a roadtrip and on the streets of the little town of San Jose Del Cabo, we heard people talking about it. We couldn't believe what we were hearing. We walked down the street to a gift shop where they were showing the footage on TV from everything that happened earlier that morning in our home country. We silently walked away from what we'd seen and walked across the street to a church, sat down in an empty pew and began to pray.
We were married September 8, 2001, at 1:30 in the afternoon. We had less than three days until the world changed forever. We were completely ignorant about what was going to happen in the days ahead.
10 years later we still are.
But at least we know it.