Yesterday the United States recognized the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. The build-up was incredible. I saw stories beginning on at least September 1st regarding the occasion. I was almost on overkill before arriving at the actual date. My choice was to filter out a lot of the earlier stories and then focus on the stories as presented yesterday. Last night I watched the most fascinating documentary on CBS “9/11: 10 Years Later.” It was a documentary shot by a couple of brothers who were intending to document the life of a young fire fighter recruit. The story totally changed as they filmed the events of 9/11/01. As I watched this 2 hour program (with very limited commercial breaks) I came out with a number of observations, but the greatest of them was “what a wonderful world.”
The following are my observations about the 9/11 tragedy (and surrounding events) as the were documented in NY and the other cities on that day:
1. I now understand how so many firefighters died on 9/11. From what I could see they all rushed to the towers when they heard of the first crash. Yet, when they arrived there was nothing short of chaos. No one really knew what to do (there was no drill for this). So while some were on walkies attempting to get/give commands and others were in stairwells attempting to guide people down to (hopefully) safety a large number were standing in the lobbies, hoses in hand awaiting further instruction. When the buildings crushed guess who the people were on the main lobby level? Firefighters. They had cleared others out.
2. Miracles happen every day. When it is not your time to go it is not your time. Engine Co 6 which was the subject company of the documentary did not lose a single man on 9/11. Not only did they not lose even one man, but the two brothers filming the footage also survived the events of the day. Again, I’m not talking about filming from afar. I mean camera in the building of the first tower on and running when the building collapsed. That absolutely boggles my mind!
3. For many weeks/months following the events of 9/11 this country was united as one. As my friend Shawn stated yesterday on Facebook, there were few dividing lines of race, creed or color. I will admit, however, that I would not have wanted to be of Muslim faith at that time. This country developed an unhealthy fear of anyone Muslim or middle Eastern. But in general, love abounded. Funds flowed willingly from not so full pockets to help those affected by the tragedy. This nation and its people were proud to be Americans. I never want us to experience a tragedy like that again, but I sure would like to find a way to regenerate the spirit of nationalism that it generated.
4. Many of the people of 911 looked death in the face and proceeded forth anyway in an attempt to save others. I don’t know that I have the level of bravery or selflessness required to do the things they did, but I am glad that there are those who willingly face any obstacle to help their fellow man. In the words of Anne Frank ” I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”
5. Regardless of what we sometimes think about our country, this is still a wonderful place to live. We have freedom beyond measure. We have wealth enough for several nations and we have people who love their fellow man. What else is left? What a wonderful world.
If the tenth anniversary of 9/11/01 has touched you in any profound way I invite you to share your thoughts. I also urge you (I am speaking to myself here as well) to get back to the goodwill we felt toward each other in the days following that event. Open your heart to love fully, give freely, and look out for one another. Have someone else’s back whether you personally know them or not.
Spread love… peace and blessings.