As the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks came upon us this week, social media and my own friends and family have reminisced on "where were you" when the tragedy hit.
I was just leaving for work in Lake County from my apartment in the Roscoe Village neighborhood of Chicago when – while watching the morning news – I saw a skyscraper on fire. I had no idea of the gravity as I grabbed my keys and headed out the door. During my hourlong commute, I listened to talk radio as everything unfolded.
My cousin's wife was eight months pregnant and working at the Pentagon. I remember struggling with cellphone service to get ahold of my mom and my sister, who also lives in the Washington, D.C., area.
It was early evening before we heard for certain that she was all right, that she had leaned on two coworkers on either side of her to make up for her not having great balance as they exited the building. A few weeks later, they gave their son the middle name Kip, after Lt. Col. Kip P. Taylor, who died that day.
Each year since that day, I have photographed memorials and remembrance ceremonies. And each year, I attempt to convey the emotion, patriotism and compassion people feel, and will always feel, about 9/11.
Pictured – Lilly Hansen, 3, daughter of Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District Lt. Matt Hansen, looking on during a remembrance ceremony commemorating the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The event took place at the Elburn home of Paul Wdowicki on Wednesday morning.
– Sandy Bressner