Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Not Just Another Day....

   It's hard to believe that it has been 12 years! It is amazing how clear we remember some things and forget others. I am not from New York and I have never lived there. I have friends who live and work there and to hear them recount that day is at times chilling. Nonetheless it is a day none of us should forget and one that has changed the way our country lives.

  The morning began like any other. It was sunny, but a little bit of a September chill. I was living in Michigan at the time and it gets colder there a little faster. I had just began a vacation. I woke up went to the gym and had just gotten back home. It didn't feel any different than any other day. When I came home Sean was on the phone and pacing and I saw the first of those horrifying images on the TV. I still thought it was just a plane crash. I couldn't have been more wrong.

  It was then and throughout the next week that I would be glued to the TV. How could this happen? What do we do next? The usual questions were asked, but I certainly didn't know any of the answers.
I immediately went back to work. My flight was cancelled and so was vacation. I didn't want to be there. I didn't want to be on the air. I understood the severity of what was going on in the world, but I was not ready to be the guy conveying info.

 I was immature and even though it was a small market, I should NEVER have been on a morning show. Information was given to us by the minute and we couldn't get away from what had happened. I wasn't ready at all. People asked questions, they were angry, made assumptions, and cried. I remember doing the same. I remember looking up at the sky in the days that followed and not seeing planes. I remember seeing the pictures of the true heroes of that day. The people who ran into the explosions and not away from them. The people who needed no reason for why they did what they did. They helped without question.

 I look back and now and see that some good things did come from that tragedy. If you were not old enough to understand what was going on then it might be hard to appreciate now. The country had a renewed sense of patriotism. People became proud of the flag and our way of life. People were a little kinder. We helped total strangers and not for any gain. We appreciated each other a little more and gave when we didn't have much to give. We became inspired by those who put their lives on the line everyday. It didn't matter if you were rich, poor, young, or old. All that mattered was that we were American. 911 helped a lot of people learn to appreciate life again.

If you're not in New York, you might have forgotten that. I hope that we always remember and pray none of us have to witness anything like that again. I was in New York for a Billy Joel concert at the now gone Shea Stadium. Billy has a song called, "Good Night Saigon." It was obviously written about Vietnam, but during the chorus of "we'll all go down together," the stage became full of police, firefighters, and first responders from that day. People next to me were sobbing and you could still feel how much that day still resonated in the lives of those people.

 911 made us all think. It made us all not take little things for granted. I hope we can learn to think like that again and more importantly, I hope that we never forget.

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