Saturday, September 10, 2011
10 Years Ago...
It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years. I'll never forget where I was and what I did all day that day.
I was 21, and in college. It was a Tuesday morning, so I had my my Foundations of Education class that morning. I was walking home from class when one of my roommates, Melissa, pulled up and picked me up. She told me what was happening. The planes had crashed into the World Trade Center buildings (they hadn't collapsed yet). We went home and I spent much of the day sitting at my desk trying to do homework, but I had the radio on and was listening to the news. It was suggested that everyone go to the gas station and fill up their cars. Melissa and I got in her car, sat in a long line of cars and filled her car with gas. Then we went back home, got my car, and did the same thing (we also went to the store and picked up a TV, since we hadn't gotten one for our house yet). By the time we got home and got the TV set up, I think it was late afternoon, early evening-ish. We turned the TV on, and finally saw the devastation. I think this is when it fully hit me what was going on.
A little while after 9/11, my mom found a place where you could order bracelets that had the name of a firefighter who lost his/her life during the events of that day. My bracelet was for a man named George C. Cain, who was a FDNY Firefighter with Ladder 7. I was curious about the man whose name I wore on my wrist, so I got online and searched his name and learned a little bit about him. He was 35 years old, loved his niece and nephews, and loved skiing. He was just getting ready to end his shift with Ladder 7 when the alarms went off. He was inside one of the buildings when it collapsed. His body was not recovered until a few months later.
In my searching, I found his mother, who I wrote to. She sent me a letter back and included George's prayer card, which I still have and look at often.
I wore my bracelet 24/7 for about 5 years. I finally took it off because after many, many times of it getting caught on things and being pulled open (it's a cuff style bracelet), I was afraid it was getting weak and would break. I've kept the bracelet, though, and have decided to put it back on for this 10th anniversary.
Ten years later, I think about the events of 9/11 often, and I never forget Firefighter George C. Cain, and the sacrifice he made to try to save others. He was a true hero (as were all the men and women who lost their lives on that day).
I went to New York for the first time near the 6 month mark after 9/11. I stood in the line to walk through ground zero. I knew the devastation was huge, but seeing it in person, helped me see just how massive it really was. They were shining the 2 beams of light during that 6 month mark, and we went up to the top of the Empire State Building to see the lights. Seeing it all in person was such a profound experience after having watched it all on that little 13 inch TV back home.
This year, I will be thinking about that dark day and praying for the almost 3000 lives lost and those who risked their lives to save others.