This post is 2 days late because, well, I just couldn't figure out how to write it. I didn't think I could possibly state all the feelings associated with the attacks on September 11, 2001 and I still don't but here's the best I can do.
Since last Friday I’ve been engulfed in footage of the 9/11 attacks. I’ve watched the personal stories and the more technical commentaries on the buildings. I’ve cried as I saw the faces of people I had never seen before who perished on that day. I cried for their families. I cried for the people that made it out and had to live with those memories the rest of their lives. There were times I had to turn it off and walk away to compose myself, feeling even worse that there are so many that can never turn it off and walk away.
One story caught my attention last Sunday. I don’t know the gentleman’s name but his face will forever be etched in my mind. He was a first responder to the North Tower that fateful day. When his team went in one even commented that they may not make it back out. I was shocked that some sensed the doom they were running headlong into. He spoke about making it only to the 27th floor before the South Tower fell. Then he recounted coming back down. As he came down a staircase there was a woman framed in the door. She was injured and couldn’t go on by herself. He stopped to help her. What stuck out to me was that people had asked him what made him stop to help her. His response: because I would have thought of her in that door for the rest of my life if I had left her there. He did his best to help the woman out of the building before it collapsed but they didn’t make it. When the North Tower went down a miracle happened for him and the woman he stopped to help. Somehow when everything came down there was a “cocoon” around them. They were covered in rubble but they were crushed, they were alive. Sadly the rest of his team that had gone on in front of him was killed, he was the only one of his group left alive. And it was all because he’d stopped to help that one woman, a stranger who was also spared. That man is a hero.
It was another story that made me write this post today though. It may seem selfish that this part is what would get my attention but it was the story of a pregnant woman that caught my eye. I was just skimming an article on a break at work that spoke of the Flight 93 passengers. Most of their stories I had never heard before. Lauren Grandcolas was a woman on her way home from her grandmother’s funeral. After trying for years she was finally pregnant and getting ready to publish her first book. She had her whole life in front of her. From those small bits of information I just had to know more about her. When I used my trusty google to find out more about her I was shocked. She didn’t live anywhere near me at that stage in her life but she was born in Bloomington, Indiana. I don’t talk a lot about my town but that’s where I live. And that’s where she was from. She probably grew up knowing some of the people I know, walking the same streets I walk. She was just a Hoosier that didn’t deserve to have her life cut so horribly short on that day. If you’d like to learn more about her please go here.
I won’t forget Lauren Grandcolas and all of the others whose lives were taken that day. I hope you don’t either.