My heart goes out to all who have been affected in any way by the tragic events of 9/11. I remember getting ready for work that morning with the television on seeing the planes hit the towers and watching in horror as the events unfolded. Once I got to work, the entire office continued to be glued to the television and during this time our company was receiving bomb threats, but we were not allowed to leave work. It was quite frightening and difficult. Those shocking images of tragedy and loss are forever branded in my brain, but it in no way compares to those who were in New York, at The Pentagon, Pensylvania and surrounding areas seeing it all first hand and experiencing loss of epic proportions. I can't imagine the unbearable pain that so many feel to this day. Just thinking about it all brings me to tears.
Our neighbors were a wonderful middle aged couple with no children. On 9/11, the man (Dean) who was a career Army professional lost his brother at The Petagon. It was devastating, of course, as it was for everyone. His brother's wife just had a baby and they had another little boy who was about 2 years old. To add another cruel twist of fate to the tragic events of 9/11, the mother of the two little boys (Dean's sister-in-law) was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She was not given long to live. Once she was gone, the boys would come to live with my neighbors and they would raise them. I remember seeing the mother on a visit as she was preparing things for the boys and the rest of their lives without her. It was so heartbreaking talking to her about what had happened and what she was doing for her boys' futures. She was a lovely woman. Sadly she did pass away very soon after that visit and the boys came to live with my neighbors. They were so young and such good little boys hit with such tragedy so early in life. A few years ago they moved away and we still hear from the family from time to time. It's always nice to know that they are doing well. From these tragic losses, my neighbors were able to do something good and raise their nephews in a loving, caring home.
As we remember the tragic events of this day ten years ago, the lives lost, the heros that emerged and the pain that is still felt, I recommend visiting the 9/11 Living Memorial Project which is an online interactive tribute commemorating the lives and preserving the stories of September 11, 2001.
September 11th, 2001 was a life changing event not only for the people of New York and the United States, but for people of the world. As we reflect upon this day, it is important to recognize that we are all connected, we are all human beings living on this planet. We should embrace our differences and learn to live together in peace and harmony. A few years ago I affirmed the Charter for Compassion. The Charter for Compassion is a document that transcends religious, ideological and national difference.
Peace be with us all today and always.