Today's post is dedicated to all the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Each of them is pictured below in a very poignant photo, which I saw yesterday on the Seal of Honor Facebook page. Please note that the website named at the bottom of the image no longer works.
Like every defining moment in history, those of us who are old enough to remember will do so always. Where we were, what we were doing, who we were with; the utter disbelief at what we were seeing.
I had just called in to a bar that I'd recently stopped working in, I'd called in to catch up with former colleagues and we were laughing and joking. The next moment, the kitchen staff came running out and yelled to the bartender to put the tv on. We all turned towards it and the room fell silent as the second aircraft hit the towers. The silence was punctuated with gasps and expletives.
Then, almost as one, we all stood up and put our arms around each other for support. Time seemed to stand still as we witnessed the first tower fall. By now, everyone in that room, along with millions witnessing the events around the world, began weeping and praying. For the lost, for those countless thousands of emergency workers who were battling to help, for America and yes, for the world we knew.
As I write this scheduled post, the years have melted away. I can see the desperate, tragic scenes without closing my eyes. I can remember the events as if they were yesterday, not twelve years ago.
The world changed forever on September 11, 2001. I, and countless millions more, will NEVER forget. 9/11/01 happened years before I personally connected with America, before I became an adopted American, but it perhaps signaled the beginning of the very special connection for me and the country I love.
These words might be sung by Lee Greenwood, but they are true for me too... "I'm proud to be American, because at least I know I'm free".