With everything going on in the world with Hurricane Harvey than Irma, Jose and Katie, as well the fires and floods worldwide, it’s today of all days I’ll always remember; the morning of September 11, 2001. (9/11) It started out like any other morning for most of us in the United States. I was in my usual routine of getting ready for work that day. At the time I was living in Las Vegas and I worked for the local phone company Sprint at the time. (Yes there was a time Sprint provided landline phone service as well as cellular in that area.) That morning as I was getting ready for work I had the news on to listen to the morning traffic update as I always did every morning. Only this wasn’t just any other morning.
We will always remember, we will never forget
As I watched the footage unfold before me, I found myself sinking to the ground in despair and heartbreak, my knees turned to jello and my heart was heavier than I’ve ever felt. The tears streamed down my face and wouldn’t stop. I finally managed to pull myself together and convinced myself I HAD to get to work that morning. My company didn’t take missed work lightly no matter what the circumstances and my absences were all ready getting high from previous sick days I’ve used up. No matter how awful I felt I couldn’t risk losing my job.
When I arrived at work it was like a ghost town. Several people hadn’t showed up that day as many of my co-workers had family that resided near the terrorist attacks and were in mourning or were too terrified to leave their homes. As I started my work for the day taking in calls for customer service, I remember how some people would be calling in to complain about the dumbest things like the taxes on their bills (which of all the charges on a customers’ bills, taxes are the one thing nobody can reduce) and I wanted to yell at them and say “PEOPLE BY THE HUNDREDS ARE DYING RIGHT NOW AND ALL YOU CARE ABOUT IS YOUR !?&#$%! PHONE BILL?!!” I can’t even begin to tell you how hard it was to hold back the tears and frustrations with each call I took that day.
We put the UNITED back into the United States of America
What I do remember the most about 9/11 is the pouring out of love and emotions for one another. For the first time in my life I saw a nation stand UNITED together. We actually PRAYED in public and it was seen on live television by the media! (Cue the collective *GASP!*) God was actually mentioned in the media, not once but several times! We held onto each other, we called our loved ones, we reunited with old friends, we showed love to our neighbors. We let go of grudges and started to realize what was really important. We saw communities come together regardless of race, gender, creed or political standings. Most importantly we showed LOVE towards our neighbors. People stood on streets, complete STRANGERS praying together, embracing each other. We mourned together, we grieved together, we prayed together, we were united together.
In our darkest hour we found light and love
What does 9/11 have to do with the devastation left behind from Hurricane Harvey than Irma, Jose and Katie Well for starters have you noticed the conversation on social media started to change up a bit? How many people are checking in on their friends from thousands of miles away right now? How many people are not just mentioning that their ‘hearts and prayers’ go out to them but truly have got down and prayed or sent out positive thoughts of light and love to those affected by the hurricanes as well as other natural disasters going on? How many of us are donating what we can of our time and finances to those in need? How many of us have dropped everything to help a neighbor in their darkest hour? How many of us have filled trucks with supplies, drove for hours and hours to volunteer, took their own vehicles and boats to the flooded towns, set up GoFundMe pages for friends who lost everything, took in evacuees into their own homes who had nowhere to go? Bought diapers and food for those in need? If you have done any of the above, you have learned something from 9/11. If you have experienced any of these acts of service above or more, you have learned something from 9/11. If you have lost everything you own and still have hope, you have learned something from 9/11. If you still have hope for humanity and love for your neighbor you have learned something from 9/11. On this day and always:
May we always remember, may we never forget.