For the wife who stopped in the stairs to call her husband and say, "I will love you forever."
For the mothers and fathers who kissed their kids goodbye the morning they died.
For the policemen who rushed in with the firemen to help others only to die themselves.
Today, tomorrow, ten years from now, we will never forget 9/11.
We all have at least one event in our lives where we can remember every detail of that day - for most of us Americans; it's 9/11. In a previous life, we had arrived in Cancun on September 10. Walking on the beach that morning, a couple we met the day before, said, "Didn't you guys say you were from the New York area? You need to check out the TV in the hotel!"
We turned on the TV just as the second plane hit the tower. For the next week, we were glued to the television in what became the toughest vacation I've ever had. We couldn't get home. We made call after call checking on family members and friends, to make sure they were okay. In fact, we ran up a $400 phone bill with ATT, which they later were kind enough to waive. A week later, flying home, we were on one of the very first flights allowed back into the US.
What many of you living outside the NYC area don't realize is that for the next year or two, on the news every night there was another human interest story about somebody locally who lost family or friends in the disaster. I know for many it helped the healing process if there is any such thing, but for me, it just seemed wrong. With each story, I felt like I was an intruder in another family's pain.
I remember hearing if you were within a fifty-mile radius of NYC there were no more than two degrees of separation between you and knowing somebody who had lost a family member or friend.
One other thing that very much relates to professional photography, and I know I've written about this before. Because the victims of 9/11 were so young, many of the images being shared as people searched for loved ones, were professional portraits - often wedding or graduation. It was a constant reminder of the potential role every photographer plays in the life of each client.
Well, here we are fifteen years later, and the world is certainly not a safer place, but it is a world where we're more aware. It's also a time when for me, I'm more appreciative of life.
So, on this somber anniversary of 9/11, I wish you a day of peace. A day to cherish your family, friends and the life you have now. It's a day for multiple eleven-second hugs. (If this is a new concept to you - I read an article awhile back about hugs being therapeutic when they were eleven seconds or longer.)
It's a day to thank those who have served in the military and those who are currently serving, and especially their families for the sacrifices they make every day.