Everyone has a story to tell. Their day started just like a typical day normally does. You get up, have your morning coffee with breakfast, brush your teeth, and get ready for work, then head out for your normal commute to the office. Just a typical morning, like every other morning in the daily ritual of life, until the unforeseen happens – – out of nowhere, without any warning, your life is changed forever.
I know where I was on September 11, 2001. I woke up, turned on the TV and walked into the kitchen to start the coffee, and I heard the TV announcer going crazy with frenzy on the air, so I walked in front of the TV only to see the first tower in NY in flames. I thought to myself, what happened? Then, within seconds of me turning on the TV, the second plane hit the other tower. Oh my gosh, it’s terrorists! We’re under attack! I could not believe my eyes as to what I was witnessing. I reached for my cell phone to call my Mother and I could not get through the Verizon network, said all lines are busy. All lines are busy? What the heck? What is going on here? All it took was a few minutes of my day in my typical morning ritual to feel absolutely…numb & helpless.
I worked as a waitress in a small Italian restaurant for a total of 11 1/2 years, and I remember that before I went into work after 9/11, I sewed on an American flag to my apron and my sweatshirt to show my support for what happened. All the girls I worked with liked the idea and did the same to theirs. I remember our local fire department in Mayfield Village, Ohio brought in a boot to collect money for the 9/11 victoms and their families and placed it by the front register. That touched me and it made me think of what I could do. So, without much thought, that night at work, every person I waited on I told them that EVERYTHING I made that evening, I was going to donate it in the boot and if they wanted to give me an extra tip, I would ensure it would all go to the collection. No one refused my request and were glad to donate. In a typical good night, I could make up to $150/night, so I more than doubled that in tips that night – – all to be handed over to the Fireman’s boot at the end of the evening. I did call the Firehouse and told them what I was doing that night, and they thanked me. They even sent one fire fighter to meet me at the end of the night, and to my surprise, he handed me a MFD t-shirt that the guys signed to show me how thankful they were. I was touched beyond words. I felt good, really good, that I know that I was just one person trying to help, but I felt that it made a difference. A good difference.
I remember thinking to myself, how sad it was that so many people lost loved ones, kids lost their father or mother, and how the feelings of dread will never be forgotten for those who perhaps left for work and had an argument the night before & never said “I’m sorry” or “I love you” to their loved ones. Things like that stick with you forever. It is just another reason to say again, that life is too short – – LOVE the ones in your life, tell them that every day, DON’T be harsh to them as tomorrow may never come, LIVE your life to the fullest as if there will be no tomorrow, and NEVER go to bed angry as you may never have the chance to say you’re sorry.
We all know how that day started, as we will never forget, just a typical day in the ritual of life turned into the worst terrorist attack that America will never forget. How has 9/11 changed you?