Cut to Carl, bleary-eyed, on the 6th (top) floor of the Department of Labor.

Walking to the café there, I glanced out the window to see the Washington Monument in the distance. With a plane flying across the horizon line. The sun was hidden by clouds but desperately trying to come out.

I noticed of the half-dozen flags flying atop nearby building. They were all at half mast. And I was confused.

I knew the president made an address last night. I didn’t hear of anything new on Twitter this morning. No attacks. I couldn’t think of this as a holiday. Or a special observance for anyone famous.

Metro was a ghost town this morning.

I got my breakfast and caffeine and returned to my desk. Logging in and looking over my calendar, I saw 9/11. And thought. Oh. Really? Is this what all that’s about?

If you were affected personally by the events of that terrible day, I feel for you. And I am sorry. I am sorry you lost someone. I am sorry you have to relive it every moment when they’re not around.

When it happened, I was in college. I was awaken by a roommate pounding on my door and yelling to turn on CNN. I did just as the second plane crashed into the tower.

I spent the rest of the day in shock. Missing class to attend events on campus and try to deal with my feelings.

My dad’s office is right next to Dulles airport. I was afraid for him. If a plane went down short of the airport, it could very easily crash on/near his building.

Thankfully, it did not. My mother and brother were in Virginia Beach, far away from it. I was in Richmond, VA.

Today doesn’t hold a special place in my heart personally. I knew and know people who lost friends, family members and others either in the Pentagon or in New York. It’s a terrible thing.

I have no room to tell you how to feel or how to act. How to remember or commemorate this day. But for me, it’s a Thursday. I don’t say this to take anything away from those who lost people, responded, or fight in the military. You are strong and brave people. Braver and stronger than I.

I love you and I thank you.