This had to be a dream, the images in front of me something conjured by an overactive imagination. My heart knew differently, the shock of pain that hit me was quick and sharp. Words left my mouth without thought, “This is a terrorist attack!” I stood there in disbelief and grief only to watch the second tower fall. The television news anchor had no words to adequately convey the indescribable.
That evening, I looked into the eyes of a friend who’d been frantically calling close friends who worked in the Twin Towers. He left voicemails that no one would ever hear. He searched for answers that he would never get. We all knew the sad truth—they didn’t make it.
Processing the hard realities of 9/11 took time for many of us. We watched our military mobilize and our family and friends go to war. The rumble of the Twin Towers was painstakingly removed and ground zero became a place of remembrance.
Today, I salute the men and women who embody the finest qualities of humanity. To those who were selfless, ran toward danger, and gave their all even unto death, 9/11 is a day that you answered the call. You could have turned away, could have given up, but gratefully you didn’t. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”