I remember waking up 10 years ago and turning on the tv as I got ready for work and just sitting on the couch in shock as I watched the events unfold on 9/11. I remember calling my mom and my sister and we just couldn't comprehend what was happening. How could this happen here? Would it happen anywhere else?
I remember somehow getting ready and going to work. Because I didn't know what else to do. I think that was the hardest part for those of us in other parts of the country. We felt so helpless to help or comfort those that needed it.
At work, it was the same...we all huddled around the tv watching the coverage until they sent us to be with our families.
It took a long time to get over the horror and the grief of that day, but we Americans...we're made of steel and we showed those that would terrorize us that our lives would go on and they WOULD NOT make us live in fear.
Last year, on 10-10-10, I ran the Mohawk Hudson Marathon in Albany, New York. I'd never been to New York before. I flew into New Jersey at dusk and I remember looking at New York and thinking about how I was sad that the first time I saw New York, it was with the Towers gone. The view of the city and the Statue of Liberty was wonderful though. When we took off for Albany, it was dark and my second view of New York was all lit up. Beautiful!
The day after I ran the marathon, I went sight-seeing. I visited a few of the old cemeteries around Albany and then went to the New York State Museum. I expected to see the history of the state but what I didn't expect was the 9/11 exhibit.
I don't know why but I felt like I was hit in the gut. I was not prepared to see the displays and it all came rushing back. To see the fire engines, beams from the towers, helmets, and other memorabilia in person was hard. And the display of the notes and posters that people posted to find their missing loved ones...incredibly sad. I cried the whole time I was in the exhibit. But I'm glad I got to see it. I needed to see that. For closure and so that I felt less helpless when thinking back on that day.
I wasn't a runner when 9/11 happened but because I run now, I was able to visit New York for the first time and pay my respects to those that died that day and honor the heroes that made us proud. I am thankful for that.
Run free, run proud, run for those who are gone and to thank those who gave their all that day.