Today marks the 14th observance of a day I will never forget. What began as a regular morning with a regular routine, regular habits, the regular actions we normally did on such regular days, rapidly turned into a horrifying nightmare that stopped us in our tracks.
The day spent staring at the news coverage segued into a night spent wide eyed still watching the overwhelming footage repeatedly unfolding in front of us. It seemed like for days there was nothing on but live coverage from the scene, the replaying of the strikes, the people screaming and running.... I have never forgotten. Even though I was very far away, it felt like those attacks happened right in our backyard.
We have watched over the years as those first responders, have died of various ailments from being exposed to the debris. With just weeks before this somber rememberance, I was so saddened to learn that "the dust lady", Marcy Borders had passed away. I had never forgotten the photos of her with that haunted look on her face and her entire body caked in that gray ash. I also learned how difficult life had been for her in the years after that horrible day. I cried for her as I read of the fears that kept her indoors and saw her sink into depression. I won't even pretend I can imagine what the nightmares must have been like.
When I stop and rememeber that day, I cry. It's been 14 years and I am crying as I write this. It still feels like it just happened. We are mere hours from the exact moment the horror began and I already know, I will be crying again. The memories are seared into my memories, and they still bubble to the surface. I remember watching it all happening live watching the tv that seemed stuck on a repeating loop for about a week. It was a moment in time that changed our world. We briefly saw the better part of all of us in those first days and weeks. My prayer as we pause to remember all those we lost is that we as a country can return to the strong Nation we once were. That we come back together and heal the fractures that have deepened in the last few years. I feel like we owe it to those who lived through the attack, those who died, those who fought so hard on Flight 93 and even those like Marcy Borders, who lived through the attack, but continued to be haunted by it everyday. We owe it to them all to come back together. To be the Country that stands united just as we were 14 years ago. I pray it's not too late.
As we pause to remember, I will offer my thoughts and prayers to the families that endure the weight of September 11, 2001 every single day. To them I say, please know we have not forgetten. Life had to keep moving forward, but we remember.