There are few moments in my life in which I remember exactly what I was doing at that exact moment. Hearing that a plane had hit the world trade center is one of them. I was getting ready for my freshman year of high school and had the radio on like always. I remember thinking it was some kind of weird programming, it took until I went to the living room and turned on the news to register that it was indeed happening.
At the time my mom, a police officer, was working the graveyard shift and would come home and sleep for a couple hours before she had to take me and my step siblings to school. We weren't allowed to watch TV in the morning because it shared a wall with her bedroom - I remember she came out and started to get mad at us for having it on- at that exact moment the second plane hit. I remember knowing deep in my soul, even at 14, that my life and the lives of all my fellow Americans would never be the same.
I am fortunate to have many selfless first responders in my family. Like I mentioned above, my mom is a badass police sergeant, my step dad is a motors sergeant (yes mustache and all!). My husband Dominic served in the Marines, my brother in law Marc in the Navy, my step brother Brandon in the Army, my brother David worked as an EMT before deciding to pursue a degree in fire science (which he is working on now). I am surrounded by those that I know would be the ones that run towards the smoke, that risk their lives everyday to protect my freedoms.
I guess that is why I get so emotional when I think about the events 16 years ago. I know that if the location was different MY people would have been the ones working tirelessly to save others, potentially loosing their own lives in the process. I have a large tattoo on my side that says "Blessed are the peacemakers" which is from Matthew 5:9 - it is my everyday reminder that not only are our first responders my true heros - but that I am blessed BY the peacemakers.
So on this solemn day in our history, please take a moment to be kind to someone. Thank a cop, give a firefighter a bottle of water, lend someone a hand, were all in this together.