“Call the next hospital, I’m sure he’s in one of them.” It was the mother of my friend, telling him, her eldest son to keep looking for his only brother after the second tower collapsed in Manhattan six years ago today. From hospital to hospital my friend desperately searched for his brother. He never did find his brother, who died that day, like many others who perished in this terrorist attack. Mothers, fathers, sons, daughters; all fallen victims; our families, our friends our heroes.
I remember that day vividly; maybe more so because I am a New Yorker and was in the heart of this tragedy. Maybe it was because I lost some friends to the hands of these sub-human beasts who carried out this attack. Maybe it was because I was able to still see the burning debris and the dark ominous cloud that hung above the towers weeks after, even miles away as I stood on the Long Island beaches. Maybe it was the smell that lingered and drifted throughout Manhattan and the surrounding areas. Maybe it was all the calls I received from my clients trying to make sense of this senseless act. Or the calls I got from friends and family informing me of another person they knew who died in this attack. Or maybe it was the huge battleships lined up along the horizon off the shores of Long Island that looked like a silhouette of a city skyline. These are the pictures that are etched into my memory forever.
It has been six years ago today and this is the first time I’ve been able to put my thoughts down on paper. It is painful for me to put these words down, to relive the most devastating senseless tragedy of our time. But it is essential, it is non-negotiable and it must always be done. To remember, to never forget, to honor the lives we lost and to live in a deep state of appreciation. Most important, to always realize that our freedom is never free.
The events of this day cause every person to stop in their tracks and evaluate their daily lives, whatever is going on in them, and to ponder deeply the larger questions of life. We search for not only the meaning of life, but the meaning in life, today.
Let us unite; as a family and as the greatest nation in the world and continue to show our support. Below are some links to some funds and charities that you can call to donate whatever you can not only financial contributions but your time, your support and your love.
To all the families and victims of 9-11. You are loved, your are honored, you are missed and you will never be forgotten. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund – The American Red Cross is providing lifesaving assistance to victims and emergency workers. Click here to donate.