I debated on whether or not I was going to blog about the tenth anniversary of Sept 11th. After all, I was not directly impacted by the horrific events of 9/11 - I didn't lose loved ones, or friends, or co-workers, or even a casual acquaintance. But I can tell you that have absolutely no direct connection to those who died on Sept 11, 2001 really didn't matter - my life changed on that day. I had the presence of mind to know that my life would never be the same. How I wasn't sure, but I knew that it would be different.
I had just moved to Columbus out of my Dad's house and was officially on my own. Like NYC, it was a beautiful, gorgeous day there - kind of like it is here today. I was staying at his place to dog-sit as he was in Vegas and due to fly back home that day. My friend, April was staying with me to keep my company as I didn't like staying at his place by myself. April had gotten up before me and she woke me up - we sat and stared in dumb-founded astonishment at the tv. I remember feeling like I was going to hyper-ventilate when I saw the first tower go down. All those people so senselessly, tragically, brutally killed.
Many of you know I wear my heart on my sleeve. I am a crier (which I hate about myself, but have learned to accept). The events that unfolded that day made me sob with grief over the next few days and weeks. I am not a firefighter, or EMT or cop or military - mainly because I am a big chicken. I have often wondered about Flight 93 that went down in Shanksville, PA - would I have been brave enough to try to take back the flight knowing with absolute certainty that I would die? Would I have been willing to give up my own life bravely in order to save countless others? I'd like to think that I am capable of that kind of bravery.
The thing about 9/11 that is so striking is that it was not just an attack on US soil, it really was an attack on the world, with people killed from 115 countries. People from every walk of life, religion, sexual orientation, beliefs, nationality were murdered that day. And then something amazing happened - people came together. They stood in 2-3 hour long lines to donate blood - because like me - so many people felt so helpless and giving blood was the only thing they could do to feel useful. They gave money. They flew the American flag and sang the National Anthem with gusto in the days, weeks, months after the attacks. It was amazing to witness - and I wish that it is something that we could find as a country again. People were kinder and gentler with each other.
So as we remember today, let us not not forget the families left behind, the heroes of the day. Let us remember the kinder, gentler people we became and reflect on the fact that we became stronger, more resolved as a nation (even if it was only for a short time). Let us remember those that gave everything in the hope of helping or saving others.
Let us not forget....