Monday, May 2, 2011

Mourning....9-11

I remember the morning well. Sitting in my office at ABVI-Goodwill, I heard the distinctive gait of my CEO's footsteps running erratically down the hall. Soon, the outer door to our office blew open, as one of our counselor's from the Low Vision Center burst in to tell us that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. Horrified, we ran down to the conference room to turn on the news and see what was going on. A few minutes later, our lives were forever changed when the second plane struck. Watching the screen, we all began to weep as we realized this was no accident unfolding before our eyes.

Stepping out into the hallway, I was greeted by Joanie, one of our employees in our manufacturing division, who had stepped out into the hallway for a break. She told me that a plane had struck the Pentagon and I responded to her by saying that it was not the Pentagon, but the two main towers of the Trade Center. She said no, they were listening on the radio, and heard them report on the Pentagon being hit. I crumpled to the ground and began to sob.

Very shortly thereafter, I frantically tried to get ahold of my best friend George in NYC. He was working with MTV at the time, and they had a shoot scheduled that morning in one of the towers. I called and called, and could not get ahold of him. Worried sick and frantic, I went back to watching the Today show and the coverage of the event. At that moment, the images of the towers were forever burned into my head as people started to jump from the towers in an effort to save themselves.

Joanie and a few others asked me to describe what I was seeing on the screen. How do you describe the horrors of people jumping, the images of both towers burning, and the chaos of people running away from the scene to people who were born without sight and have no point of reference to gauge its magnitude? As I described what was happening, the finality of the situation became even more profound as one of the towers collapsed and imploded on itself.

In absolute rage, I sobbed and wailed as I realized that I was watching people die before my eyes and somebody was behind this massive attack. Fear shook me as instantly our world had changed, and resolve gripped me as I, like thousands of others, rallied together to proclaim our love for this Country and our undying patriotism.

It took me two days to get ahold of my best friend. He was fast asleep when the towers were struck, and unaware of what was unfolding below him in lower Manhattan. The shoot had been cancelled and his life spared. Had the shoot gone on as planned, I would be mourning his loss alongside so many other precious families who lost loved ones.

So many people lost loved ones on that fateful day. Maybe the death of Osama Bin Laden may not measure up to your personal beliefs about life and death, but to me the endless pursuit to hunt and take him down means justice is finally served.

To those who engaged him in the final moments of his life, thank you for sticking to the mission at hand. For those who criticize the Pursuit of terrorists, remember that freedom is not free and it is for that freedom that our Service Members put themselves in harms way day after day, week after week.



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