this is always an emotional day in my city. it is filled with mixed concerns of sadness for those fallen, yet pride in those who answered the call. it has symbolized great defeat & then a call to action to rise above that defeat. it has become a model for the the american spirit and our perseverance. that you can knock us down but we will get back up. it is a day for remembrance. for everyone who perished. and to pray that they find refuge in the Tower that can never be shaken.

almost everyone has a connection to the day. through a friend, a family member, a co-worker. almost everyone can tell you they knew someone there, or someone that was supposed to have been there. the tragedy touched everyone’s life in a different way. my own father was suppose to be there. on the top floors of tower two that morning, at 8:00am for a meeting. i had a soccer game the evening before, and my dad never misses games {not even in college}. so he had a late night flight booked after my game that would leave DFW and head to NYC. the weather was bad, and the planes were delayed. for once i can say that my father’s impatience probably paid off. he started to think that with the delays he wouldn’t get into nyc until after midnight & then he would have an 8am meeting, and that he just did not feel like going. he walked to the ticket counter to try and get his flight refunded, and the announcement came over that his flight was going to start boarding. so he walked back to the gate and got in line. he boarded the plane & as everyone else boarded he asked the attendant when the flight was expected to get in and she told him 1:00am. he said a voice told him “go home” and he left. he got off the plane. he was arguing with himself about his meeting and if he should go home or not & didn’t get too far when he turned around and went back, as he was getting his seat back when he distinctly says he heard a voice inside him telling him to “go home” so he left again.  and for some reason that is still unbeknownst to him, he decided not to go back that time. if you hear him tell the story, i think he knows that someone up there was looking out for him. he told me “anyone who thinks God doesn’t talk to people should come see me.” he had no reason not to go other than a little bit of weather & a delayed plane, and my dad does not just miss meeting because he doesn’t feel like it. it was a meeting with his company executives, a meeting that you do not miss. how are things like that explained? well they just aren’t. and our story is not isolated, there are so many like it. i am so grateful that he did not get on the plane that morning. i could never be grateful enough. & i am humbled by the fact that so many others were not as lucky. so thank you.

my father in law was a police officer in the 46th  precinct. had just gotten home from his over night shift in the bronx. he had no sooner laid down to sleep when they got the call to the house that he needed to be back in the city as soon as possible. they could not tell him what exactly had happened, or how long he would be needed. so on zero sleep, he picked himself up, repacked his bag, and drove back into the city that was now in chaos. he worked for day after day & night after night. he traipsed through ashes, debris and dead bodies, searching for those who were still alive. those he could still help. the NYC police department lost 23 officers that day. a small number in comparison to the overall catastrophes, but they were also all volunteers who ran into the disaster to try to help. they were not trapped, they laid down their lives helping others. and any one of them could have been him. so thank you.

my brother was in the military for 13 years, 11 of which he was a US Navy SEAL. he graduated from buds training with a patriotic force & a sense of invincibility. if you know someone in the military then you know what i mean by this. he had that “if you think i can’t, i’ll show you i can” attitude & i could not be prouder of him for the life of service he lived from that moment on. little did we know he would go on to do 8 different tours in iraq & afghanistan. that he would become a sniper, and later sniper instructor. that he would teach VBSS (vessel boarding search & seizure) training to new recruits. and that he would pass his chief’s exam before making his exit as an E7 chief petty officer in the US Navy. after 9/11 he was one of the seals who answered the call & he did his final tour overseas. he went to afghanistan to fight for our country. to fight for me, and for you. so that this thing would never happen again. to chase the demon that came into our city and took so many innocent lives. how do you say thank you to someone how does that for you? how are you ever able to show gratitude for that kind of service? i still haven’t found that answer, but last year on the 10th anniversary brian & i at least found a way to commemorate him forever. we purchased a cobblestone at the 9/11 memorial here in nyc in his honor. if you are ever there, you can find his stone here: http://names.911memorial.org/#lang=en_US&page=cobblestone&id=752751. so thank you

my husband is a new york city police officer. he followed in his father’s footsteps to serve and protect. this morning at 8:46am he was gathered with his fellow brothers in blue & stood at attention for a ceremony & moment of silence to honor those lost when the tower was hit 11 years ago today. he puts on a uniform every day and goes out there. he does this in the face of adversity & in the face of many who would discredit his service. he does it in spite of it all. i was there on the day he went into the police academy. & the day he graduated. & i have been there with him every day since. i am so proud of him & so grateful that he does what he does. he is an incredible man. an incredible husband. and will soon be an incredible father. so thank you.

this day means so much to me on so many different levels. sometimes as the years go by i find myself forgetting details that i never want to forget. that is why i am writing all of this today. so that i never forget. and that we never forget. and that we are always grateful for those who are willing to lay down their life for another.

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

the following is a tribute song performed by one of our favorite irish bands here in nyc Shilelagh Law. i hope the lyrics touch you as they do brian & me.


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