Today is 9/11. Not only do we honor the 2,996 people who lost their lives on this day but we also remember the brave first responders that rushed to help and died of respiratory disease or cancer in the years that followed the attack. Although I was not yet born, Doc can tell you exactly where she was and who she was with when she found out.
She said it was one of those beautiful September days. The sky was a crystal blue without a cloud in sight. She was at work when one of her patient’s came in and told her that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. Although it was shocking she thought it must be some type of terrible accident not realizing what was about to unfold. Soon patients came in and they were crying as they found out planes not only hit both Trade Centers, but also the Pentagon and one plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. It was almost too much to process.
Doc stayed at work until she was told to go home as the downtown was closing, There was a concern more attacks may be planned. When she left work there were police guarding the bridges and some of the streets. The airport was shut down and all planes grounded across the United States. While driving home there was barely a person on the road and she became acutely aware of how very quiet the world had become.
For the rest of the evening she sat on the front porch with her neighbors trying to comprehend what had occurred. The only other time the United States had been attacked was at Pearl Harbor during WWII and it almost seamed impossible that it happened again. I think that sometimes we can be lulled into a false sense of safety.
So today let us pause and remember all of the people that died that day. May we never take our lives or the people that we love for granted.