Commemorating 9/11


As the stories and images from 9/11 fill the airwaves we reflect upon not only the events of that day but how those events touched each of our lives in some way. Each and every one of us was affected in some way shape or form and each of us has a personal story about that day….

It was a beautiful sunny day in Chicago on September 11, 2001. I went out for a run and remember how the sun was playfully dancing on the grass, reflecting the crisp blue sky in the mirrored buildings and on the lake. Glancing up at the skyline and marveling at its magnificence I remember feeling happy yet at the same time, there was this nagging feeling I had to get home….

I cut my run short that morning. When I got home, I went into the kitchen ignoring the beeping of my answering machine, grabbed a cup of coffee and came back into the living room where I had left the TV on before I left. Charlie Gibson was on Good Morning America showing a clip of a plane hitting the first  World Trade Center building. I thought they were showing a trailer for a new movie coming out. “Are you kidding?” I thought, “Who would make a movie like that?”

In this case, truth is clearly more horrible than fiction. I sat down and watched live as the second plane hit. I went completely numb! This was no movie! It was happening and happening NOW! I sat in stunned silence watching the events in New York, DC & Pennsylvania unfold. Yes, I remember that morning clearly even 10 years later and I’m sure I’m not the only one. All over the world people came together. There was an outpouring of love and it seemed for a moment the world came together as a family.

We honor  the victims, survivors and everyone who rose in service on that day and in the days to follow.  Our heroes are the firefighters and police who went well beyond the call of duty to save lives. Many of them made the ultimate sacrifice…their lives. We feel connected in some way as Americans and it does not matter if we personally knew anyone involved. We grieve and wrap our arms around all who were directly affected yet who among us was not affected?

It saddens me that in the last few weeks I’ve read about conspiracy theories and more recently that first responders, Police, Firefighters etc  were not ‘invited’ to Ground Zero memorial ceremonies. I agree with the outrage. As one article put it “they weren’t invited on that day in 2001 either. They just showed up”. What would have happened if they didn’t respond until September 12th? How many more lives would have been sacrificed?

That said, this is not about a rant because I seriously think all of that must be put aside and our focus should stay on healing. It is time to put aside the judgements or we are no better than the terrorist who planned the attacks. It is time to stand tall and become a family again. For on that day in 2001 we were a family, grieving together, mourning together and watching a real life horror story.

This is a time to honor those who died and thank those in law enforcement, the Fire Department, the Military and anyone else who stepped up to go beyond the call of duty for their contributions and sacrifice on that day and since that day. It is time to embrace our loved ones and teach tolerance and love. It is a time to find peace within as we remember~Shine Your Light Debbie

©Debra Taitel  2011-2013 All rights reserved

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