3 days ago
Friday, September 11, 2009
I am blessed that the one person I knew who was there at the moment of impact was low enough in the second tower to leave moments before the building collapsed. He walked out of the building, out of the city, and kept walking for hours all while the world crashed around him.
My brush with paralyzing fear came from my brother who lives near Pittsburgh. During the time when it was being reported that a plane was headed toward Pittsburgh my brother was locked in a bank vault. After the second plane hit the bank manager had everyone in the bank move into the vault. They stayed there until the airspace was declared clear.
Because of how a vault is built, no one had cell phone service. For what seemed like an eternity I dialed, redialed and redialed my brother's phone. Most of the time I got the dreaded, "All circuits are busy" and when I did get through it would ring
I stayed on my landline with the person I had been talking to when it all started for hours. Neither of us were willing to hang up and be alone with our thoughts and fears. I used my cell phone to continue to call my brother. My TV continued to flash images of the beast that was destroying my safe, cocooned world. I very nearly couldn't function from the fear that gripped my heart. FINALLY someone reported that the plane headed for Pittsburgh went down in a place I'd never heard of and will now never forget. The "relief" I felt immediately afterward seemed out of place and insensitive. But somewhere near Pittsburgh my brother was alright. For a few moments my world was alright.
But only for a few moments.
I am fortunate in that my life has changed very little since 9/11. But so many out there have paid and are paying a great price. To those who lost loved ones that terrible day, I can't even begin to tell you how sorry I am. Know that one day those responsible will pay dearly for their deeds - if not in this life, in the next.
Those of you who lost loved ones as a result of defending my freedom, again, words will never adequately describe my gratitude.
And for those of you who are making sure that my life continues not to change, who are the good guys and not the bad...
I love you.
This is our generations Pearl Harbor, JFK and Martin Luther King. This is the day none of us will ever forget. Each of us was directly or indirectly affected. Each of us has a story. What's yours?
(I was inspired to write this post based on some of the amazing stories I read over at (in)courage. Check them out - they'll inspire you too.)