As a New Yorker, this is always a difficult post to write each and every year. But with each and every passing year, it becomes more imperative to write it so that what happened is never forgotten and not lost through the sands of time. The day will come where those of us who were old enough to remember this attack on our nation will be gone. It is our duty to remember this tragedy and share those memories and truths with each passing generation until the day comes that none of us are left to do so.
20 years have passed since we woke up on the morning of September 11, 2001 to what can only be described as a horrific life-altering event that impacted the lives of everyone across the nation. For almost 3,000 people, that morning would mark the last sunrise they would ever see and a sunset that they would never get to see. For others such as our brothers and sisters with the NYPD, FDNY and countless other agencies, that day would mark the beginning of a long series of battles with cancer and other diseases related to their prolonged exposure to toxins at the site searching for victims. On that fateful day, they were given a time limit on life that for many has already expired as of today. Countless rounds of chemotherapy, surgery, depression, PTSD and other forms of mental and physical trauma that they would experience right up until the end. For others that were given this time limit on life, time is running out.
You can find countless interviews online with first responders who survived and assisted in the search in the days, weeks and months following the attack. The common theme amongst them? “Never forget.” Each and every day, they remember the friends and family they lost. The pain and heartache of removing the remains of those same loved ones from the site and sadly for some of them, knowing that in doing so they started a timer on their own lives. These men and women did so without pause because that is they type of person that they are. Honor their actions and the actions of those who perished that day by never forgetting and making sure generations to come never forget either.
Take but a brief moment today to look up just one of the 3,000+ victims of this attack online. Get to know a little more about them than as just a name and date on a memorial wall.
-Never Forget 9/11/2001