Really Take a Minute to Remember 9/11
I realize that on this day lots of folks are going to post things about where they were when they heard about or saw the events on September 11, 2001...and I think that's ok. I think it's important to stop for a minute and remember that day...not just where you were or what you were doing, but how you felt that day and in the days that followed.
Having said that, I'm about to tell you about my day, on that day 11 years ago.
On September 11, 2001 I had been married for just about two weeks. My wife and I had returned from our honeymoon about a week before 9/11. I was working here at GBF...we were still at our former 41 and Lincoln location. I was the Promotions Director for GBF and for our entire cluster actually. I had just walked in the building, heading passed the GBF studio when I heard Corndog say something about a plane hitting a building. That's all I heard...no more details. And honestly I pictured some small, single-engine plane, and only expected to hear about some property damage. I finally made it to a TV and realized it was a bit more serious. But at this point, we had no reason to think it was anything more than just a horrible accident. That all changed when the second plane hit.
I remember how quickly the upstairs conference room filled up. We were all huddled around what seemed to be a really small TV. Everyone had an opinion about what was going on. Everyone was speculating about what would happen next. One thing we all agreed on was that our lives, and the world, would never be the same again. We were right about that. No more work would get done that day.
People were calling me, cancelling their appointments. Co-workers were calling loved one and checking on them. Our day was absolutely consumed by New York City.
I remember in the following days that we quickly threw together a memorial service out at the Central High School football field. We had officials from several different faiths come out and speak about the tragedy. The turnout was amazing. It gives me goose bumps to think about it even 11 years later.
I don't know if you've read this whole thing or not...so hopefully these words don't fall on deaf ears (or blind eyes I guess). When I think back to that day, I think about two things.
1) I think about the tragedy of that day, and that it includes...how agonizing slowly things developed. I think about those poor people that were trapped in the towers, and no one could get to them...the fear they must have felt. I think about the helpless family members watching it all unfold on TV, trying frantically to reach their loved ones...the agony and the helplessness they must have felt almost brings me to tears as I'm typing right now. I think about the brave and selfless men and women that didn't hesitate to run in to those towers to help. I think about the passengers on all of the planes, and only pray that they didn't suffer before their lives were cut short. I think about the passengers that made the decision to sacrifice themselves to save others when they took down the plane over Pennsylvania.
2) I think about the days that followed, and how this country came together. I think about the feeling of patriotism and how it was displayed everywhere you looked. I think about my family, and I try not to take them for granted for one single day, minute or second. I also think about our country now, and how I can't remember a time when we more divided. I think about the amount of venom and hatred that is on display with our politicians. I think about the amount of general cruelty and lack of humanity on display in our country alone...the apparent disregard for another human being, let alone a fellow American. This things sadden and frighten me.
I hope you think about these types of things too...and I hope it makes you think about how you treat people. For me, a tragedy like this has to have a purpose...it can't all be for nothing.