Friday, September 11, 2015

9/11 Where were you? What were you doing? Remembering Brady Howell

I was working at a call center while I was attending graduate school at Boise State University. Tammy & had been married four years and Gabe was almost eight months old. I was working full time and going to school. Mine was the early shift from 6-2:30 PM. We opened that early to be able to take printer support calls from the eastern time zone. That morning started as any other, busy. But then less than two hours after opening the calls stopped. It didn't just slow down- it stopped. At first none of us knew why. Then slowly the information trickled in about something happening in New York City. As news of the events unfolded a TV was brought into our break room so that we could see the live coverage from NYC. We worked our full shifts, didn't close early.  

That night I had class. I left Tammy and Gabe at home and headed to my three hour class- Ethics in the Public Sector. We talked about what had happened. Kind of decompressed. The professor ended class early. I wished I could have been with Tammy all night. The non-stop new coverage was inescapable. When I returned home to Tammy and Gabe and we tried to occupy ourselves with something else. The coverage was everywhere- hard to escape it. I remember watching the few DVDs that we had to change the subject. 

I don't think I'll ever forget where I was. 

Today was Dads and Donuts at Lone Star Middle School and I was able to bring donuts to Selah's class. When we said the pledge 200 + dads in the front foyer of the school, it was pretty amazing. On 9/11 all of us remembering where we were on that day now reciting the pledge of allegiance fr our kids to hear. 

There is not much more to say. I do want to share a memory that I have from 9/11/2001,  about someone I knew.

When I returned to Rexburg, ID and Ricks College in 1995 I began working at a gas station/ video store "Horkley's". When I started I was the only person that was not a local. It was a fun place to work. Many of my coworkers mentioned to me another person that had worked there before he went on a mission and that he would be returning in the spring of 1996. That is when I met Brady Howell. He and had fun when we worked together, we would swap mission stories and give the less active members that worked with us a little nudge (like slamming the cooler door when they would come into work in the morning with a hangover). He and I didn't work together a lot as we were both over 19 and could sell alcohol. But when we did it was fun.

When I graduated in August of 1996, I left Rexburg and moved back to Nampa, ID. I didn't really think much about Brady except when thinking about working at Horkley's as a whole. Then 9/11 happened. After the attacks the names of the people killed were released and I heard the name of Brady Howell. When this occurred it was years since we shared the cash register in Rexburg. By now he had married and was working in Washington D.C. at the Pentagon. When I heard his name I remembered him and realized that 9/11 touched everyone.

Every year on the anniversary of 9/11 I think about Brady's widow and what her life has been like since the loss of her husband and how every year there are many reminders of her great loss.

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