September 11, 2011:

Ten Years Later

The United States of America and the World will never be the same after the events that transpired on September 11, 2001.  Our lives changed.  Some will argue for the better, while most would insist for the worse.   

The last couple of weeks I spent in New York City.  I was there for the 2011 World Police and Fire Games.  While there, I had the great opportunity to meet many of the men and women that work for FDNY and NYPD, and many other New Yorkers performing their daily activities.  Their ability to make the best of these games after suffering the scare of an earthquake, the flooding of Hurricane Irene, and in anticipation to another possible terrorist attack as the September 11th date neared, impressed upon me that although many heroes died ten years ago, millions of others continue to fight the daily grind of working, remembering, crying, laughing, and letting go of a past that can never be forgotten.  It was just ten years ago that many lost a parent or both, a husband or wife, a brother, a sister, a son, a daughter.  Some had not been born yet to meet the grandparents they would lose that day.  In ten years, many grew up to become men and women with a different teenage experience than the one you and I might have experienced.  Their lives changed in ways that we cannot begin to imagine.  They have chosen to survive, to fight, to live every day like it might be their last, and to not fear death even when it stares right into their eyes.

 Yesterday I worked a 24-hour shift and throughout the day many people visited and thanked us for the work we do as firefighters.  They greeted us with cupcakes, flowers, doughnuts, and a giant fruit bowl.  I imagine that many more people came by the station today.  I sit at home now reflecting on this day.  Indeed our lives have changed.  Some things have changed for the better and some others have changed for the worse, but united we stand holding on to the pieces of that day, trying to understand the reasons why so many had to die, and believing in the reasons why we must continue to stand strong and fight.  The World has always been an attentive audience to the United States of America.   We are still a symbol of freedom, democracy, and strength, and must continue to represent just that and spread it all around the globe.

remembering 9/11