As we reflect on this important and tragic day in our nation's history, I remembered how the course of my life changed after September 11th. I wrote about what happened to me and my family back in 2009, 8 years removed from that tragic day on my blog. Here's some of my memories of that day...

I just wanted to share what happened to me on 9/11 & how that day changed my life. Let me preface this by saying that in 2001 I was still living with my parents, broke & I didn't have a job & I was 23 years old.

I was planning on spending the day of 9/11 doing the usual, sleeping until the afternoon, wake up & hang out on the block. My fiancee' was in Shreveport staying with friends. Earlier in the year I went through a terrible breakup & in my anger & heartbreak I enlisted in the Army but wouldn't be leaving for a couple of months.

My mother (RIP) came home from work early & opened my door & told me to turn the TV on because Saddam Hussein had sent some terrorists to attack the WTC. In my disbelief I turned the TV & saw the constant repeat of the first tower getting hit & the announcers still not knowing if it was an accident or not. I sat up & told my mom that Saddam doesn't have the gall to pull something like that. In less than an hour the second tower was hit. "We are under attack, this was on purpose" the anchor announced. I sat motionless for over 2 hours, literally in a state of shock.

I was in shock because my mother seemed to know what was up before the media did. When I snapped back into reality, I realized that I had more to worry about. I just enlisted in the Army & now I'm seriously reconsidering my decision. Like just about everybody else in the first few hours I was thinking the world was coming to an end. Suddenly I thought about my then future wife, so I got on the phone & called her but the phone lines were jammed.

I spent the day glued in front the TV like every other American waiting to hear from the president. No one knew where the President was until my phone rung. My wife called from Shreveport and said that the entire city was getting shutdown because the president had landed Air Force One there. By this time the media just found out that Bush was in Shreveport but he had left.

After a few phone calls from various family members, I hit the block to see what the hood thought. At about this time it was pretty much established that Bin Laden was involved but as any hood cat will tell you they have their own opinions. I had to hear them. Some believed it was Bin Laden, others said the government, but everybody agreed on one thing: WE MUST KILL SOMEBODY!!

I went home at about the time Bush was addressing the nation. It was one of the few times I saw my entire family sitting around the TV. We talked about the events of the day when my mother asked me "So I guess you're not joining the Army now?".

I spent a majority of my day debating this. It's September 11th 2001 and my country had been attacked. There is no doubt that we are going to war. What am I to do?

After answering "I don't know" my dad pointed something out. I was supposed to originally ship out in September of 2011 but due to paperwork mistakes, my ship out date was pushed back and my Dad had suddenly remembered "You were supposed to leave this month weren't you?" I went to my room to look up my first enlistment paperwork & there it was:

SHIP DATE: 11 SEP 01

Shocked, I showed this to my parents. My mother broke into song: "God is trying to tell you something". Indeed. The rest is history.