I distinctly remember watching in disbelief as those towers fell; forcing myself to deal with the reality of what was happening, all the while wondering... what IS happening? I had to tell myself, this is not special effects in a movie. These are real lives... too many lives... devastated.
We had only been in our "new" home for a couple of months. I was still trying to adjust to life in New York. One of the first concerns for me was our family who live and work near "the city", and our neighbor who was a firefighter in NYC. All of our family was fine, and it turned out that our neighbor was not on duty that day. So, he was alive, though no doubt greatly affected. He, of course, along with any other firefighters who were not on duty were immediately called in. This man worked tirelessly alongside so many others for months on end. Though he did not lose his life that day, he had to leave his job a few years ago because of health issues related to that horrible event. He is younger than I am (I'm 46). A bit early for this young man to retire, but he had no choice.
He has a get together with friends and family every year on September 11th. I think it is his way of honoring all those who lost their lives that day. He is not one to talk alot about his experience, it is too hard. Too raw. So, he spends time with the people he loves, and cherishes those moments in his quiet, unassuming way. This year he was invited to the city for a special memorial event with other firefighters. I was saddened to hear that he would not be allowed at the Memorial Site Dedication Ceremony (at Ground Zero), because he did not lose a family member. ??????? I don't know, I just think that's wrong, but they didn't ask my opinion.
Let us always remember. Let us learn to cherish the moments we're given. Let us continue to pray for our nation, and for our enemies. Let us love those around us more intentionally. Let us rejoice in each new day. God bless you.