It's one of those days that comes around every year and you can't help but think about that day.
I can remember standing in the drill team locker room as one of our teammates started telling us about the voicemail her mom just left her. It couldn't be true. A plane crashed into one of the twin tours. It was the next period when our principal come on the loudspeaker to let us know what had happened. The rest of the day was nothing but news and watching the horror replay.
The next year I was in NYC curled up on our tour bus nursing what I would later know as my first migraine and listening to our bus driver talking with another driver about this horrific day. What I saw from my Texas TV was far from what these New Yorkers experienced. I laid there and listened to their genuine retelling as we sat parked in front of ground zero. The memorial was being built and my friends was touring the area, but to my listening to these men reliving that day made it that more real to me.
Just a few years back I was back in NYC for a convention with one of my dear friends. She wanted to see the memorial and I...was really hesitant. Something about memorials stirs up feelings and I knew this one would feel too real. But I went...and I'm thankful I did. I may have walked through each exhibit incredibly disturbed, horrified, and sorrowful, but I would do it again just to pay respect to those who were innocently taken and those who bravely went to rescue.
You walk through the entire memorial and every step is reliving what happened. There is a room within the building where you can listen to voicemails, recordings from people who were on the plane calling their loved ones. It sticks out in my memory most of all. I looked around and we all had tears streaming down our face. Theses messages heartbreaking and it touches a part of your heart that you can't ever shake.
This awful day, this horrific devastation that took the world by surprise has left a mark that, dramatic as it may sound, quite seriously changed the world around us. There's not a single aspect of how we operate today that wasn't touched by this.
Today the effects of hurricane Irma are reaching our news feeds, the devastation of it circulating now with pictures and videos. It's another day of shocking news, this time mother nature taking her toll. Thank goodness people were able to evacuate and seek shelter and I pray that folks were able to find safety while riding out the storm.
Mostly I'm glad to see people leaning on one another, lending a helping hand in this storm as they did a few weeks ago for Harvey and as they did sixteen years ago in NYC.
We're living in a pretty heated time, folks up in arms about everything. You can't say anything without striking up a heated fight and you say nothing, post nothing, then you must be a part of the problem, whatever that may mean to the person pointing the finger.
Put your hand down, step off your soap box and let it go for today. It's a not about wining an argument or picking a side, getting even or shutting people out. Put it away today. Let it go for today. This day is a day to hold your loved ones, tell them what they mean to you and lend a helping hand.
If nothing else, take a moment of gratitude today for all the blessings and gifts you have in this life. Never forget those who's lives were cut short within a moment, those who gave their lives to help their fellow man and those who will live without their loved ones today.