Tuesday, September 11, 2012


on this date 11 years ago our lives as americans were changed forever. perhaps you didn't know anyone who was in the twin towers...or on either plane...or at the pentagon. perhaps you didn't know any of the members of FDNY, the Port Authority police, NYPD, EMS or others that rushed in as all others were rushing out. but this horrific event had a ripple effect through this country like none other in recent history.  it woke us from a safe, sound sleep and thrust us into the reality that, no, we are indeed not invincible. it pulled us together in a unified effort to combat evil. it gave us tangible evidence of what hate really looks like. it was, in my humble opinion, the beginning of some of the hardest hits on our economy.
but do you know what else it did?
it defined the word "hero".  it made us look at our families in a different light...one of thankfulness. it made us a little more giving, a tad more helpful. it changed our focus. it made us think about others a bit more and for a change, not so much about ourselves or the bottom line. i think it also has made some of us more inclined to be self-reliant. it has made us think long and hard about the important choices in our lives. it gave us a new appreciation for those that put their lives on the line every single day for us. it's never been said, but i believe the events of that day regarding the 343 FDNY members lost was a huge factor in my son's final decision to become a firefighter.
in march of 2001, 6 months before Sept. 11, my daughter and i were on a trip to new york with her high school choral group. we did the whole tourist thing....and on the ferry ride to the statue of liberty we had our picture taken with the new york skyline in the background. it was a nice photo of us. it wasn't until after the events of sept. 11 that we saw it....dead center behind us in the photo were the twin towers. it was as if it had been posed that way...and i don't remember that it was.  i do remember that our hotel was across from a firehouse and on numerous occasions during our stay, we heard them go out. finally, knowing scott's love for the fire department, we snapped a few pics of the trucks, the guys, the firehouse. after that fateful day 6 months later, we looked at the photos, finding the number of the station and the trucks...searched to see what happened to them, where they might have been. we can't know for sure their fate, but we do know they were there. and we know that firehouse lost an entire engine company that day.
i don't need to know where you were or what you were doing. i don't need to know how that day changed you...or if it did. we are, as a nation and as individuals, still feeling ripples from that day, some good, some not so much. i will say this. i would hope and pray that those events that changed us on that day are never forgotten....that we as a nation and as individuals do not become complacent and rest easily back into our cushy lives and think it will never happen again. we made that mistake once. and look what happened. 
and no, that is not a political statement. i will not be doing "political" in this place. this day is not about politics. it's about people. my guess? that those whose lives were lost on sept. 11, 2001 and their families would like by now to see some ripples of good....to know that we've learned so much because of that day. hopefully, that what we've learned...is what's really important....that "no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." hopefully, we've learned how to be good people, because we witnessed evil. and hopefully that change will last a lifetime and beyond.

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