There's a moment, in most generations, where an event comes along that is so important that it forever etches a memory in the collective conscious of that generation, defining both who they are, and what they stand for. September 11th, 2001 was no different. I remember that day vividly, as most will say. I was working for a medical equipment company at the time and I had just pulled up to Sacred Heart Hospital, in Pensacola, Florida, to deliver oxygen to a patient that was about to be released, when the news of the first plane was announced on the radio. Honestly, I didn't think much of it, I just remember thinking, "That's horrible, I hope everybody gets out okay. "
As I was getting back into the company van there was news of a second plan hitting the towers and the possibility of it being an attack. I remember sitting there, in the parking lot of the hospital, listening to a frantic deejay trying to explain what he was seeing on the news. That day I must have spoken to every family member and friend that I've ever known, each one as frantic as the deejay.
As I sit here writing this, reflecting on my feelings of that day and all the days between then and now, I can't help but to think about my family. It reminds me that there are evils in the world and that no matter how safe you feel, you should always be vigilant. I'm not talking about being paranoid but about being ready for the worst, while at the same time expecting the best.
I think back about all the people that were killed, the thousands upon thousands of family members that, to this day and forever, feel an emptiness that will never be filled, a sadness that will never abate and an anger that will never subside. I can't imagine the pain a son must be feeling because the last words to his father were harsh, or the last words of a mother to her daughter was about a bad choice in men, when they should have been... I love you.
Mothers, Fathers, tell your children how much you love them, how much they brighten your day. Children, hug your parents, let them know how much you appreciate them. Husbands, wives, love one another, know that times will get tough, that's a given, but promise each other that instead of pushing each other way that you will instead embrace the love that brought you two together. Never go to sleep or leave the house without saying I love you, you may not have a second chance.
Live your life with no regrets, work hard, play hard and love hard. Life is short, often times too short but if you pay particular attention to what is going on between the beginning and end, you can make the most of it.
To all those that lost loved ones on that day my thoughts and prayers go out to you, I will never forget!