by Stephen Boyd
I remember being assigned to work in downtown Chicago that morning. We were all new Police Officers. After our initial training of 3 months on the street, we were assigned to direct traffic downtown until we completed our one year probation. Chicago has many tourists in the summer time, and Mayor Daley wanted his new Police Officers to be visible downtown. That morning I was assigned to a crosswalk between Soldier field and the field museum. I was supposed to stop traffic to help visitors cross the street. I noticed that many people were talking on there cell phones as they passed me, and one woman was crying. I secretly called my brother at home to see if there was something unusual happening. He told me that a plane had hit one of the towers in New York. He was also recording it on the VCR. As we were talking he said, "Hey there is a plane coming in the picture. Oh my God! Another plane hit the other tower. This is deliberate, we are going to war!" I was filled with anger and shock. I had just seen a TV special about Bin Laden, so I thought that it was him. It was confirmed later that he was responsible. Our Police group was ordered to go to one of the piers by the lake. We were told that Chicago was a target and to be on the lookout for suspicious trucks and boats that might approach the pier and to shoot them if we felt in danger. Shoot? Shoot at people? I didn't know what to think. I noticed that the government canceled all flights and for three days there were no planes in the sky. Occasionally a military plane would fly, and when anyone heard a plane, people would stop in there tracks and stare into the sky searching for it. Cars would pull over also. I will never forget that horrible time.
* Stephen is my beloved friend from Chicago, Illinois, USA.