I began Tuesday, September 11, 2001 at midnight, counting inmates in the local jail. I was a jailer at that time and our shift completed count and as the vast majority of the offenders was asleep, we made another pot of coffee and settled in. We woke them at 4:00 am for breakfast and completed another count. Our relief arrived shortly thereafter and we were released at 5:00.
I went home and fell into bed. At about 7:50 am (central time) my phone rang, a friend telling me that a plane had just flown into the World Trade Center and that we were under attack. In my REM sleep phase, I hung up the phone and rolled over. The phone rang again a few minutes later, so I got up and went into the kitchen to make coffee. As the coffee dripped, I turned on the television just in time to watch the second plane go in at 9:03 am. All I could think was “That was no accident.”
I lay on the couch for the rest of the day, napping as the horror unfolded. I remember getting up about noon and making a big plate of eggs and hashbrowns for lunch and thinking that I needed to get some sleep before the evening shift I still had to complete.I lived in the country at the time and it was common to see contrails all over the sky from the various routes that crisscross the United States.
I recall going out into the bright sunlight that afternoon under a cloudless sky and noticed that there were no contrails at all. All aviation in the United States was grounded and the sky was awfully quiet. At 4:00 pm local I put on a clean uniform and went to work.