As the anniversary of September 11th approaches I'd like to share with you a trip I recently made. This past weekend I was in NY near Albany visiting family for my daughter's birthday. Because of the rain we weren't able to go to the amusement park we had planned so instead we took a trip to the NY state museum. Among tons of other exhibits ranging from the types of rocks found in NY state, native Americans from NY, etc they had a memorial room dedicated to 9-11.
All I can say is wow! When you first walk in you come face to face with a firetruck that had been burned and crushed by falling debris. They have the bent and mangled beams from the trade center buildings. What I found the most moving were the letters and memorials. There were quilts made with the names and faces of fallen firefighters on them. There were letters written by children who had lost parents or family members. Walking through the room looking at the wreckage and memories of that day hit me hard. It's really hard to explain but walking past the bits and pieces of the events from that day sent chills through my body. It was as if that room was 20 degrees colder then the rest of the building. It brought me back to that day all over again.
I can remember it like it was yesterday. I was at work just outside of Boston when a coworker said something about a plane hitting one of the towers. I didn't think too much of it at first other then it being a really bad tragedy. A little while later I opened up a browser to see if I could find any news about it and read as the events of the day started unfolding. People in my office were shouting out bits of information (and misinformation) as they found it on the web. One poster on a forum I was reading was ranting that he was convinced this was a plot conceived by Saddam seeking to punish us for electing another Bush to office (yes it was a Democrat posting this). People in my office began getting scared of attacks on Boston to the
point the owners of the company announced anyone wishing to leave and
be with their families were free to do so. I called my parents to see
if they'd heard anything from my sister who was teaching at the time in
NY city. She was far enough away that she was unaffected but she saw the clouds of dust from the falling towers outside her classroom windows. A couple of us went across the street to the bar because we knew they had a TV and got to see the video for the first time of the planes hitting the buildings. We just sat looking at one another unable to even speak. One of my coworkers later stated that had it not been for his sick mother he would have been on a business trip leaving on the plane that hit the 2nd tower.
A few days after 9-11 I made a trip down to NY City as I was serving as the National President of an Italian-American Fraternity who's majority of members lived in the city. Three of our members who worked as firefighters had been killed that day. I spent the weekend talking to guys that had known the three men sharing stories and memories. We drove down to the site, I just couldn't get over the huge scar in the middle of the city. There were police and military on every street. It was like a war zone.
This Thursday I hope you all reflect back on the events of 2001 and remember those who lost their lives or those who lost loved ones. Keeping our country safe should not be a partisan issue so I hope everyone regardless of which party they are in remembers the loss of that day and strives never to let it happen again.