Today we marked the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001. What first comes to my head when thinking about this is disbelief that it has already been ten years since that day. Time goes by so fast, so Don’t Blink.
I am not going to give you a whole recount of my day on 9/11, but just a few things that stick out very vividly to me. I woke a little before 6am PT and as I always did, I turned on the TV. The first plane had already hit. I will never forget the words of a correspondent they had phone into the network I was watching. The anchor greeted the correspondent by saying “Good Morning to you” and the correspondent grimly responded “It is not a good morning.”I then watched live as the second plane hit the south tower. I was a freshman in high school. When I got to school they had all of the news coverage projected onto the walls inside our mall area. Our principal cried over the intercom when explaining to everyone what had happened. It was surreal.
At my school, they decided to allow sport practices to continue. I will never forget the passionate speech my freshman football coach gave our team at the start of practice. He let us know that what had happened that day was an attack against each and every one of us.
9/11 is a day that is very near to my heart. I don’t really know how to describe it other than it left a mark on me. This is coming from a dude who was two thousand miles away from the disaster in a comfy city in Washington State. I can’t even begin to imagine the toll, heartache, and stress that the event has inflicted on people who were near any of the three sites on that day or who were directly impacted by the events. Some of the stories I have heard surrounding the acts of heroism that day make me feel like the most insignificant, worthless coward in the world. Some of the things people did that day to sacrifice their own safety, and in many cases their own lives, are beyond words.
The word “Courage” does not even begin to describe what some of these people have flowing through their veins. I always question myself about whether I would have the guts to do what that group of people on Flight 93 did to prevent that plane from smashing into the White House. I know it is easy to say that of course I would have acted like they did but talk is cheap, especially while I am sitting here in my comfortable house while sitting on a nice leather couch while watching Sportscenter. Their death sentences were already sealed but they acted so that other people could live. Some of the stories I have heard about office workers in the towers saving multiple people while they ultimately perished touch me very deeply. Of course the heroic acts of the NYPD and the New York Fire Department have forever made those two organizations the face of our nation when it comes to courage.
I don’t want to get into too colorful language about 9/11 because it has all been said before and it pretty much goes without saying but we learned a lot about our country in the aftermath of that day. We are a very strong country with very strong people. It is just by the luck of the draw that we are fortunate enough to live here and we need to thank God every single day for that.
Perhaps the most amazing thing is that there has not been a major terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11. What a tribute that is to our leaders on both sides of the political spectrum who implemented necessary safety measures/procedures to keep us safe. Amazing work by both the Bush Administration and Obama Administration on setting up cabinets, security agencies, and undercover special operations that tirelessly worked to investigate anything that remotely resembled a threat against our country. Thanks so much to all of our troops who have crippled the various terror cells across the world. Think about that: Ten years and thousands of threats later, no crazy operation out of the Middle East has touched us.
I had the opportunity to visit Ground Zero and was overcome with emotion. Without making that trip, I know I would have still never forgotten about 9/11 but when I got to see first hand the place where so many people perished I knew that not only would I never forget it, but I would always vividly remember it. Again, thank God that we get to live in such a wonderful place where we have the freedom to live the way we want to. Thank all the military personnel you know. We are living the good life. Don’t Blink.