Where were you on September 11, 2001?
I was beginning my journey at MCRD Parris Island in Beaufort, South Carolina sitting in a squad bay unaware of the events that were unfolding against our country. It was my first full day on the Island, I had stood on the infamous “yellow footprints” the prior evening at around 2200 hours. The platoons of recruits were kept separated during the first week. The recruits who had arrived prior to the attacks were all kept together while the others arriving throughout the rest of the week were kept away from us. I only assume this was to maintain good order and discipline as to keep everyone focused on the task at hand…the journey to becoming a United States Marine.
The following week when all the recruits were assembled into individual platoons within 2nd Battalion we received our permanent Drill Instructors. After our initial indoctrination our Senior Drill Instructor informed the Platoon of the events that have unfolded the prior week. Those of us who had family were permitted to phone our loved ones to ensure their safety.
During that time my mother was a flight attendant with JetBlue based out of JFK. She was only a few blocks away when the attacks happened. She ensured me everything was all right but she did not know of the status with her aunt and cousinsâ€¦whom unfortunately were taken from this earth during that dreadful day; one at the World Trade Center and two at the Pentagon.
During the weeks that followed our Country came together. We showed, as a Country, the three tenets of Free Masonry…Friendship, Morality, and Brotherly Love. As we approach these sobering times let us not forget our Brothers and Sisters who were violently and prematurely taken from this world to the join the Grand Artificer of the Universe…God.
Jonathan Murray Worshipful Master, 2017