At 9:00 September 11, 2001 I was in the Employee Cafeteria were I work, getting a cup of coffee. The television in the cafeteria was set on "Today". Several people were gathered around watching and listening to Katie Couric describe a fire/smoke coming out of one of the towers of the World Trade Center.
I began watching the live feed, inching closer to the television in order to hear what was being said. I saw an airplane move into the frame, then slam into the other tower. Everyone screamed, bringing more people into the cafeteria. Katie Couric was maintaining her dialogue while trying to find out what was going on. I ran to the telephone and called my office, "They're flying planes into the World Trade Center!", I screamed, "Turn on the TV!"
I ran upstairs, back to my office, feeling like Chicken Little, telling everyone I saw that the sky was falling. I thought, "Oh my God, those people in there, what a horrible way to die!" This was before the collapse. Work was a write off that day, with native New Yorkers frantically calling home to see where their families were and the rest of us tuning radio stations on to see if we were next.
Two thing invaded my mind that day, who is attacking us and why, and the humanity. All those people had names, faces, lives, loves. So many at one time. I prayed that they could all be saved.
One man was at the World Trade Center on an out of town business trip. He did not want to go. He told his peers that he did not like going to meetings at the World Trade Center. He worked for the United States government in Virginia. He was a nice man with a wife and child.
I am honored today to remember this man and his life. His name is Mark E. Schurmeier.
Mark, I am glad to have made your acquaintance. Your death, to me is tantamount to a person dying for their country, their countrymen and the beliefs that we hold dear. To my dying day I will continue to be the outspoken person that I am because so many people have died for me to have that right. May you rest in peace.