Remember the past, honor the present
I was trying to choose a column topic for this month when I realized what day it was: Sept. 11.
I was 6 years old when this tragedy struck our nation, so I don’t have any first-hand memories of that day. According to my mom, my school – where my brother was also attending – chose not to let out early and cause a panic among elementary students. When we got home from school, our parents explained what happened.
I’m sure at the time I had no sense of the gravity of the situation, but listening to my mother recount that story to me yesterday was an emotional experience. As she phrased it, you could feel it in your toes.
Taking the time to think about this tragic, historic day made me think of all of the first responders I know now. Growing up, I didn’t really know or have a relationship with any first responders that I can remember. Now, because of my job, I have gotten to know several firefighters, police officers and EMT workers. These men and women have become a special, integral part of my life, not only because of work but also because I have developed friendships with some of them.
Having that deeper connection drives home the importance of what these brave souls do. It’s easy to separate yourself from the pain of a situation or loss when you don’t know the people, but it’s impossible to do that when you know them on a personal level. They put everything on the line every time they go into work, and that is a sacrifice most people don’t make.
So it is my challenge to you to stop what you are doing and send up a prayer, if that is something you do, or reach out to first responders you know and say thank you. Wish them well and ask for the blessing of peace on their lives.