On September 11th, may we remember all the lives lost on this day 17 years ago, also on a Tuesday. The memory of that day seems so crystal clear in my mind that it is difficult for me to believe that it was truly so long ago.
On that Tuesday, the attacks took between 8:46am and 10:28am eastern time (or 5:46am and 7:28am Pacific Time), and we witnessed the worst terrorist attacks ever performed on U.S. soil, losing 2,977 innocent people, many of them firefighters who rushed into a known disaster in order to help with their own hands.
Despite the horrific events of that day, the beauty of America– and Americans ourselves– shone brightly through that very day and in the days and weeks following. Americans from all walks of life pitched in to help rescue survivors, continuing for weeks. These people volunteered their time, money, and their labor and sacrificed their health in order to save people they did not know, and did so with a patriotism that many said had not been seen since the attacks on Pearl Harbor, 60 years before.
These efforts proved that even in our busiest of cities, and in the busiest of times, we will drop everything to help a neighbor in trouble.
If there is one thing we can take away from this awful event, it is that we are a resilient and caring people. When it matters, we will be there.
In this same spirit, consider helping a neighbor in need this week. It may be hanging blinds you’ve seen sitting in a corner of the person’s house for a month. It could be taking a lonely neighbor out for a bite to eat or touching base with an old friend without having any particular question or favor to ask of the person.
We all have busy lives, but life is a fragile thing, and we only get to live it once. Love thy neighbor, and live life to the fullest.
This morning, our fire stations lowered the flag at 8am in remembrance of those who were lost. This is a tradition I hope lives on.