Friday, September 11, 2009

8 years later

Watching the documentary footage play tonight, I can still feel tears rolling down my cheeks. Listening to family members talk about how they watched the front door for weeks waiting for their loved one to come home and wives speak about how they slept in bed with their husbands clothes so they could still breath in their scent breaks my heart.

The vulnerability of how that day felt for me is still tangible. I remember what I felt like, I remember being glued to the television in a state of shock and disbelief. I remember the phone call to my firefighter ex-boyfriend's mother in New Jersey, knowing that he was already in New York if not on his way. I remember finally talked to him that night and hearing him cry at the thought of pulling bodies of fellow firemen out of ashes and rubble. I remember feeling helpless but still trying to be the strong one on the other end of the phone, 3,000 miles away, reassuring him that there were still people to help. But there weren't. There were no bodies, there was no need for the stadium parking lot full of ambulances to rush in and save anyone. I remember going to work that day and the next, driving to and from the desolate and barricaded county courthouse, with no one on the freeway. No one. No one in 8 lanes in either direction. It was a post-apocalyptic scene and one that I hope I never have to see again.

Today 10 of the firemen that I work with climbed 110 flights of stairs to symbolize the number of floors in each of the twin towers. On the back of their turnout coats, they wore the name of a firefighter whose life was lost on that fateful day eight years ago. I am very proud to work with these men and women. In a society that delivers shock and awe in every headline, every day, I am still proud to be an American and remember the sacrafices that afford me the life that I have.

They say that you're never really gone until you're forgotten. I remember. I will always remember. Don't ever forget.

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