Today’s date will forever be emblazoned in our minds.
Six years ago our lives changed forever. And this world hasn’t been the same since.
My husband and I had just moved out of New York City back to RI in August 2001, exactly a month before 9/11 took place.
I’ll never forget that morning because we had three friends who worked in the Financial District in NYC. Two of them worked in the World Trade Towers. And I remember my husband getting calls and trying to make calls that morning to determine everyone’s whereabouts. And as everyone can imagine, it was nearly impossible to get through to anyone.
And I remember thinking about all of our friends there. And my colleagues. And I remember just being sick to my stomach, not knowing where anyone was and praying that people were OK.
We got the horrible news that two of our friends, Paul Sloan and Ray Rocha, were not accounted for after the World Trade Towers collapsed. I remember getting emails from friends telling us that they were scouring hospitals and making phone calls to everyone they knew to see if anyone had seen Paul or Ray. Nobody had.
And God Bless them, they lost their lives that day.
And 9/11 was part of the reason our beloved Dimitri Gavriel (my husband’s best friend) enlisted in the Marines. And that beautiful man lost his life November 19, 2004, serving our country in Iraq.
We lost three friends to this horrible tragedy. Three men who were all in their late 20’s… who were supposed to go on and get married and have children.
These are some of the stories of 9/11. These were the heroes of that day.
And that day changed our life path too. Matt and I were planning to stay in RI in 2001, buying a house and starting a family.
Instead, we looked at each other and thought, there is no place in this world we would rather be right now than in NYC. To live there and support the City. And support this country in showing that a tragedy won’t stop the City from thriving and prospering.
We moved back to NYC in December 2001. It was never the same City after 9/11. I remember being on a subway a few weeks after we moved and the train stopped underground, and you could see the faces of people. What was going on? Why did we stop?
And we were there for the Blackout in the summer of 2003. And we all thought it was another terrorist attack.
Everyone is more on guard. And rightfully so.
On this day I think of all the lives that were lost. Of the families that will never be the same. Of the friends who lost that best-friend-forever “buddy.” Of all of us, whose lives have changed because of that day.
So I hope everyone stops today and thinks and prays of the victims of 9/11. And of the lives that have been changed forever because of that day.
And I hope we all stop and look at our kids and our husbands and moms and dads and just count our blessings a little bit more today.
And I hope we all continue to visit New York City and Washington DC… and know that even though these were the main targets of the attacks, these cities still need our support and our love.