9/11 out of the ashes
Where does one begin. So many don't understand. So many don't remember and so many can't forget.
I have very distinct memories from September 11, 2001. There was an aura of total disbelief. No one knew what to do but watch their TV. I'm a nurse, should I go to lower Manhattan and see if I can help? That thought crossed my mind. I went into my drawer and got my badge out wondering what to do. It wasn't long before we found out there was no need for extra medical professionals.
Later in the afternoon my husband’s truck broke down on the empty roads of Long Island. I loaded up my 3 small kids and our yellow lab and off we went to rescue him. The roads were eerily quiet. It was an uneasy feeling; thinking the world might end and yet I wanted us all to be together. Crazy thought.
Fast forward a few days. Searching. The searching and searching for survivors. The brother of our friend, a New York City fireman, Captain William F. Burke missing. It's so sad to even write these words and wonder if I even have the right to?
Then came the recovery from the ashes. More mixed emotions. The recovery of the lives left behind and of those that lost loved ones. This recovery still goes on in one way or another. There are people trying to recover but more often they have no choice but to live with symptoms that are a constant reminder of that unspeakable day, They’re reminded of the exposure to the toxic waste that was absorbed into their skin, lungs and aero-digestive tract. They were FDNY, NYPD, construction workers, city workers, volunteer fire fighters and so many more. It is estimated that 10,000 are diagnosed with some form of cancer post exposure to 9/11. How does one reconcile that horrific thought?
So, what can we do?
We can remember.
We can support and love those who lost loved ones.
We can share their stories so the memory of their valuable life is not forgotten.
And then we must pray that we never experience anything like this again.