As I watch the Today Show's re-broadcast of the 9-11 events as they unfolded, I am reliving that surreal and shocking moment in my life in 2001. I was on vacation with my family in Florida. We were getting ready to go play a round of golf and we saw the Today Show's live reporting of one of the World Trade Center towers on fire, smoke billowing out from the side and top. As Katie Couric and Matt Lauer interviewed eye-witnesses and attempted to sort out the details, we watched on live TV as the second commercial jet flew into the second tower. In the hours,days and months that followed, I believe we (as a country and global community) all collectively went through the chaos and a range of emotions as the country reacted, mourned, got angry, and most powerfully - came together in service and support.
My sisters and I recently visited New York. My youngest sister, Marian is a Henderson police officer and had one request for the visit - she wanted to go to the ground zero site. We weren't able to see too much at the site as the September 11th Memorial & Museum is currently under construction and the site is covered with banners over the fencing. I was moved by the memorial inside of the chapel. I really got the feeling of how that sacred space directly across the street from the horrific reality and tragedy was a beacon of hope and solace.
Here is a movie of photos and videos we shot at ground zero and St Paul's Chapel:
I believe I am a service-oriented person. I can do more. We all can. It can be random and simple. Today, I re-commit myself to being of service...to myself...to others. To being compassionate, practicing non-judgment and gratitude.
Official proclamation from President Obama (9-11-09):
"I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September 11, 2009, as Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance..... I call upon the people of the United States to participate in community service in honor of those our Nation lost, to observe this day with other ceremonies and activities, including remembrance services, and to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. eastern daylight time to honor the innocent victims who perished as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
From the 911 Days of Service website
"Please take a moment now to post your personal plan to perform a good deed, volunteer or engage in another charitable activity in observance of the newly established September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance. Help create a wonderful legacy that honors the victims and those who rose to service in response to the attacks on America."