Michael Leslie


MY connection to 9/11
  • I was serving in the military on 9/11

Where were you when you first heard about or saw the 9/11 terrorist attacks?

I was a supply sergeant assigned to Alpha Battery, 6th Battalion, 52, Air Defense Artillery Battalion in Ansbach, Germany. I walked into the orderly to have my commander sign something to find that the entire unit was there watching television. I saw the planes crashing into the World Trade Center Towers and asked of the room: "What reality TV show are you guys watching?" Everyone there stared back at me in mute astonishment. A private looked at me and said: "Sergeant, this ain't no reality TV show, this is happening now!" I cannot describe my horror at what I was seeing - my country was under attack. I looked at everyone there and said: "We're at war." .

How did the events of that day shape your life and inspire your service to this country?

I dedicated myself to training National Guard and U.S. Army reservists on live fire ranges at Fort Hood, TX whose units were deploying overseas to Iraq and Afghanistan to fight the Global War on Terrorism.

What are you excited to contribute to your community, however you define it, for the next 20 years?

I wrote a poem to commemorate that day and so that future generations could understand what it felt to be alive during then and the years that followed. 9/11 - A Poem by SSG (R) Michael T. Leslie Always pause and remember . . . (with quiet and reverence) That horrible 11th of September When America was raped by violence. It was another day which shall live in infamy. For the Land of the Free has a long, long memory. The stunned Nation watched and held its breath. Never had it witnessed hour and hour such death. Heroes were found everywhere on that dark, tragic day. For many ran toward the horror to rescue and provide aid. Heroes died in the air, fighting to save lives below. Heroes battled amid fire, explosions, and smoke. Then fell the once proud and gleaming World Trade twins, Reduced to sundered rubble by the plan of evil bin Ladin. It was the day when America stood in humbled silence, For it brought rebirth and strength to our governance. Old Glory on the ruins they hung and displayed A silent tribute to those Americans lost that day. The field of blue with 50 white stars rippling o’ the wind The 13 bands marching from red to white to red A proud guardian bearing silent witness where many bled The sleeping giant awoke from its long slumber Roused as she was long ago on 7th of December. The never-ending War on Terrorism was born. For all her lost children, America cries and mourns. Now many years later on this day America remembers For the Home of the Brave was reborn from those embers Once more strong and secure, America stands ready and proud World hear us now, as we sing our anthem clear and loud. We will never forget, the 11th of September, Yes, we shall always, always remember!