Photo Credit: 
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

In psychology. a flashbulb memory is a highly detailed, exceptionally vivid "snapshot" of the moment and circumstances in which a piece of surprising and consequential (or emotionally arousing) news was heard.

I can remember the day of Sept. 11, 2001, down to some minute details. I was employed at America Online and we were located at the old Shepherd Mall in Oklahoma City. After the bombing of the Murrah Building, they moved some of the government offices that had been housed at the Murrah Building to the Shepherd Mall location. We were standing in our regular Tuesday morning meeting when a late-arriving employee frantically entered the meeting wanting to know if we knew a second airplane had crashed into the World Trade Center. We had been in the meeting and didn't know that there had been a first plane crash.

The group rushed into the breakroom and turned on the TV’s and began watching the story unfold before us. Not 20 minutes later, I was involved in evacuating the call center for the fear of that we were housed with all the government agencies that had moved there. I ran from station to station unplugging phones and telling people to get out NOW! I remember leaving the mall and it felt so strange to look into the Oklahoma City sky and not to see any airplanes flying around.

The memory that sticks with me the most about those days that followed are how we came together as a nation. We had each other's backs. We hugged strangers and cried with those who needed our shoulders to cry on. Please always remember: United we stand and divided we fall!