Sunday, September 11, 2011
Where Were You?
9-11-01. I was being wheeled through the University of Michigan pre-op clinic to prepare for surgery on my trach the next day. On the way in, Doug and I had heard on the radio something about the Twin Towers in New York. We thought it was a prank.
When we were going through the pre-op clinic, we saw the TV. It wasn't a prank. It wasn't an accident. It was a horrific, sickening, terroristic reality.
My surgeon was in Denver, and got stranded there for like 4 days, so I didn't have surgery til the next week.
At the time, I couldn't handle watching anything about it.
This year, for some reason, I want to watch every story. I want to see the personal stories of the families who lost loved ones. I don't know why...I mean, I know people have been making a big deal of the 10-year anniversary, and it's not like I've been worried about another attack...
But for some reason, this week, I have just mourned the loss of all those people. I try to put myself in the place of those on United Flight 93 and wonder if I would have the bravery those men and women had. They weren't soldiers. But we were at war. They weren't in the Army or Navy, or Air Force, or Marines, but they showed honor and valor and bravery any American soldier would be proud of. They knew by their sacrifice they would save hundreds, possibly thousands of lives.
They were willing to die so others might live. What greater sacrifice, what greater act of love and charity could possibly exist? There is none.
And the firemen and women and EMT's and police officers...all who responded to the scene...KNOWING there was a high probability some would not be returning home. I saw a story of a mother with 3 sons that were firefighters, as her husband had been. Two were in the north tower when it went down. One was recovered, one never was. The third son lived.
My heart breaks for the mothers, and fathers, and wives and husbands, and friends, and Aunties and Uncles who lost someone. I mourn for those who have indelibly imprinted on their bodies and souls the results of being a victim of that attack.
Even through righteous anger I mourn for the lost jihadists, so deceived by hatred that they were willing to die, kill and maim for their false "reward" and murderous ideology. There is NOTHING noble about murder.
The nobility lies in the hearts and souls of those who helped that day; especially those who were never "equipped" to do so. For the office partners that led each other through towers of smoke and flames. For the men and women who went back for their fallen colleagues, if only to be with them as their took their last breath.
I will never forget. WE will never forget. Every one of those people had a name. They had a family. They had lives and people who loved them. And that all changed September 11, 2001.
To the fallen: we will NEVER forget.
To the heroes: we will NEVER forget.
And to the terrorists: You better believe it. WE. WILL. NEVER. FORGET.