While I didn't personally know anyone that risked their lives that day, my husband and my dad did. I am originally from Connecticut, and my husband was raised in Flushing, Queens before moving to Long Island, and finally settling in Connecticut where I met him. My husband was a volunteer for a fire department in Connecticut, and was lucky enough to ride along with Rescue 2, FDNY a few times and got to know some of the firefighters in that company. Unfortunately, some of them paid the ultimate price on that tragic day. So, while, no I do not know anyone, people close to me were affected that day.
I remember exactly what I was doing when I heard the first plane hit one of the twin towers. I was at work, and my boss came in and told us he just heard that it had been hit. Our first reaction was that it was an accident, and immediately turned on the news, just in time to see the second tower get hit. We were in disbelief - this surely couldn't be an accident, but what horrible person could actually do this on purpose? I don't think we went anywhere that week where we couldn't stay glued to the tv, to hear any information on this tragic event. To this day, it still chills me to the bone.
My husband and I have been watching the documentary on the rebuilding of that site, and to me it is truly amazing. So much thought has been put into how the buildings are constructed, and the placement of the fountains, down to the position of each victim's names. We have also been watching all the memorial shows that have been all day - honestly, I cannot pay complete attention to it. I am a very emotional person, and I am still affected to this day. I feel for all the families of the victims, and the fellow firefighters and police officers that have lost their brothers. They were all so brave that day, thinking only of the victims in the towers, the pentagon, and the plane that did not hit the intended target. Everyday, I thank God for those people - they ensured that no one else was killed that day.
One of the lovely ladies in my running group started a challenge on daily mile. We started out wanting to run 343 miles, as a group, for the firefighters that lost their lives. Well the response was so overwhelming, that we had over 200 miles within the first couple of days, so we decided it to include the police officers that lost their lives, and finally we decided to extend the challenge until the end of the month to include all the victims of that tragic day. So as a group, we will be running over 3000 miles this month as a tribute for these selfless people. I am in awe how quickly my running friends jumped in to run for this awesome cause. Even with this, I wanted to do more as a tribute. So, I had read on facebook how another runner friend was running 3.43 miles for all the firefighters, and I thought that was an awesome idea, but being that my father is in law enforcement and I work for a police department, I wanted to include the police officers that lost their lives, which was 23 NYPD and 37 Port Authority. So I ran the 3.43 miles for the 343 firefighters, and then I ran .60 miles for the police officers, without walking. It was the least I could do as a tribute for these brave men and women.
As this day winds down, I am saddened for the family members that lost people that day, but I am proud at the amount of patriotism that I have seen. I just wish that this patriotism wouldn't just last this one day, but continue on throughout the year. While there are many issues going on in our country right now, it is still a great country because we are free. Free to express our admiration or discontent, and that is pretty awesome to me.