Life Can Change in the Blink of an Eye: A Reflection on 9-11
Wow. It's amazing how fast time flies by, isn't it? I want you to remember this, as you start off your busy day. 19 years ago tonight, the vast majority of us ended our long, stressful and overworked days at the dinner table with our families. We exchanged laughs, sighs, pleasantries, stories of triumph and defeat. We came together to take solace in the fact that everyone endures hardships in day-to-day life, but when it really matters, your friends and family are there for you. After enjoying Mom's home cooked meal, you probably retreated to the living room to watch TV for awhile before retiring for the night. The trials and tribulations of your day were immediately wiped clean when it came time to be with your loved ones.
For some, it may not have been so bright and cheery. Perhaps you got into a heated argument with your Mom, Dad, Brother or Sister. Vivid thoughts of anger and sadness radiating through your mind, you slam the door shut and crawl into bed feeling upset and alone wanting to drown the people out in your life. You fall asleep listening to the vibrations of tiny pieces of plastic in your ears spewing heavy metal. You drift away and escape into a new world.
Two completely different, but parallel scenarios existed not only on this day 19 years ago, but also today. In both situations the next morning could have brought chaos the likes of which has never been seen before to the families. Chaos that would leave the undertones of regret and despair in the forefront of the memories of those involved. The date I speak of is September 11th 2001. A day we were shaken to the core as a people and as a nation.
I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a Tuesday morning, clear, beautiful with the sun radiating as far as the eye could see. Nothing screamed happiness and tranquility quite like this morning. Who would have known that such a calamity would occur on this date that would change the way we live for the rest of our lives? When the news struck about one plane hitting the twin towers, while extremely tragic and shocking, most shrugged it off as an accident. Within minutes, the second World Trade Center was hit by another plane. At that moment we knew exactly what was going on. We were under attack and would soon mobilize for war to revenge the cataclysmic loss of life on our soil.
The Pentagon was next and we may never know the target of the 4th plane thanks to the brave souls that came together to thwart an attack onboard their plane. It crashed in PA. I've never witnessed such confusion, such devastation, such concern and such a feeling of emptiness in my life. I was a 4th grader at the time, and I could hardly comprehend what was going on. Glued to the TVs, were waited with bated breath to find out the very latest on the happenings. The sight of people holding hands jumping out of the buildings to their ultimate demise was a scene that would wreak havoc on the heart strings for many years to come.
Thousands of lives were lost on that day. Mothers, Fathers, Sisters, Uncles, Brothers, Friends and loved ones all perished as a result of perpetual evil that exists in our world. These are people who may have never gotten to say "I Love You" to the people who truly matter. People who could have gone to work upset because of some falling out. People who meant the world to others. Within the blink of an eye, they were gone. A memory.
It is the scenario such as the one I've outlined above that I want you to stop and think about. Where do your relationships stand? It's important to put whatever anguish that may exist in your life aside and truly appreciate those who mean something to you. Stop the bickering, the fighting, the name calling. We are only on this Earth for but a split second in the grand scheme of things. Make your time count. Love and be loved. I certainly make it a point to tell those who truly motivate, inspire me and whom I appreciate what they mean multiple times a day. I urge you to do the same. For you never know exactly when your life will be thrown into overdrive and you won't be able to do anything about it.
I want to also take this opportunity to thank the men and women of our Armed Forces and Law Enforcement who do a standup job at keeping us safe each and every day. YOU are those loved ones that rush into the "fire" at a moments notice and don't look back. YOU are the heroes of our society and YOU are what makes America great. Thank you for allowing us to continue living in a free land. If it weren't for you, I'd hate to see where we'd be.
Let's all please reflect on this day and give love onto one another as in one way or another, we were all affected by the events of 9-11. God Bless All.