The day was always a special day to me because my first child was born on September 11th. Michael was turning 5 on that fateful day in 2001. I was trying to get out of work early so I could get things together for a family gathering to celebrate that evening.
He was blissfully unaware of the events.
It was such a guilty pleasure knowing so many were suffering...
wondering if their sons, daughters, spouses, parents were ever coming home while we enjoyed the company of our family.
I wished I could go to each of those suffering and
Over time I have watched the stories. Pregnant women whose unborn children will never know their fathers. Mothers who have lost their children. Grandparents just never came home one day after going into work.
There loss is my loss, I feel them all.
I feel for them all.
I seek out their stories even now, seeing how they have coped. Seeing some flourish and some fail. These stories are heartbreaking, and they are never far from my thoughts.
Within months of the attacks, my friend JoAnn and I were able to go to New York City. We went to see Phantom of the Opera with my sister in law, Jen and her husband Harry...
but JoAnn and I had other plans as well.
We both felt compelled to visit Ground Zero to experience the devestation first hand. To KNOW exactly what the people were going through in the city...
to feel it.
And I can tell you it was one of the most moving experiences of my life.
To see first hand the destruction that others can bring
to our country
It brought havoc and unrest to my soul knowing
that others could plot such crime against humanity right in our backyard.
Fences lined with posters of the missing along with prayers by well wishers, people crying overwhelmed by emotion, buildings destroyed, the smell of destruction in the air...
it was moving in ways that words will never express.
And to watch the NYC firetrucks leave for the day after relentless search and recovery efforts, knowing they themselves had lost many members from their squadrons, but tirelessly worked to bring the lost home.
It was a moment that takes your breathe away knowing how hard
their mission must be to complete after so much loss.
I felt outwhelming pride to be a witness to heroism first hand on that day.
And as the sun set on a bitter cold rainy day in New York City,
I saw the greatest vision amongst the rubble and wreckage.
Behold the American Flag
...our flag, my flag, your flag
draped on a damaged building reminding us...
We are the people of the United States of America,