Sunday morning I attended The Winnebago County 9/11 Memorial Ceremony, what an emotional local event.

Photo - Captain Jack
Photo - Captain Jack

Fifteen years ago this past Sunday, I was sitting in the studio of the radio station I worked at. The studio was the only room in the building that had a T.V. in it. As the first plane hit and word got out that something was going on, within seconds my studio was packed.

There were tears, screams, a lot of emotions shared that morning. I was confused and really didn't know what I was going to do when I turned on the mic. As I walked the hallways soaking in the vibe of all my co-workers, I remember specifically walking into the break room and speaking with my G.M. I looked at him and asked a question that I fifteen years later remember the response to. I said, "What do you want me to do"? With a raised voice, my G.M. looked me in the eyes and said "Get on the air and go be f'n Captain Jack".

All of these memories came rushing back yesterday as I stood at the Winnebago County 9/11 Memorial in Rockford. As the ceremony was underway I stood shoulder to shoulder with strangers. To the left of me was a Firefighter, to the right of me was an African-American women I've never met.

As the dedication and the unveiling ceremony continued I looked around trying to gauge the emotion and feel of this huge day in Rockford. There were tears, there were prayers, and one moment I'll never forget. As I stood there, the woman to my right that I never met before wrapped her arm around mine, and held on to me. For the next few minutes it felt like time stood still and there was an amazing feeling of peace in the air.

The 9/11 Memorial is located at 650 W. State Street in Rockford.  Winnebago County Memorial Find twenty minutes in your day and go check it out for yourself and see if that feeling of peace is still in the air.



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