September 11, 2001

I am sure most of you will never forget where you were when those bombs disguised as planes flew into The Twin Towers. I was picking up the mail from the Post Office on Anna Maria Island. I was listening to the radio station 98 Rock out of Tampa when I heard one of the morning show people mention that a small plane hit the World Trade Center and it was on fire. I asked myself “what is small plane was doing in Manhattan?”. I went back to my house and turned on the TV just in time to see the second plane hit. I was horrified. Our greatest city is under attack. I had been in both towers several months before. I could not pull myself away from the TV, I wanted to know everything. Rumors were flying around that 20,000 were dead. Facts kept changing throughout the day. The United States of America had just been attacked. This was the biggest event of my lifetime. This certainly was one of our darkest days, it revealed we were not as invincible as we thought.

That day also revealed something else, something overlooked for a while, it exposed real life super heroes. The film footage shows many running from the building after the first plane hit, but it also showed many running to the building. Brave Men and Women risked their lives to help the injured. The brave members of the New York City Fire Department lost many that day, they served and died helping others.

Michael Benfante and a co-worker carried a woman in a wheel chair down 68 floors to safety, right before the building collapsed. Welles Crowther, an equity trader on the 104 floor, put on his red bandanna that he had since he was a kid, and began helping people. He saved at least 12 lives and went back in to help more, he was in the building when it collapsed, he died a hero. There are countless stories of people helping others, many at the cost of their own lives. The Pentagon had many stories of similar heroic acts taking place. A group of passengers on United Airlines flight 93 saved many lives by re-taking that plane and gave their lives to save others.

The days following the attacks were amazing, it felt our country was more united than ever. People seemed kinder, petty political disagreements were meaningless. The attacks brought our country together.

The events of September 11, 2001 are tragic, I am in no way trying to suggest they are not. I am trying to show that no matter what happens, a perspective can be adjusted. Out of that tragedy, heroes arose and a country united. My sincere hope is we can all learn to see the positives in life, even among the darkest times. September 11, 2001 is a day I will never forget. I honor the amazing heroes that stood up and helped others, anything else would let the animals that took those building down win. Their attacked just brought us together, regretfully, for a seemingly short time.

One man, who had a heart condition, did not think he could make it down the stairs, but he had no choice but to try. On his way down he encountered a man confined to a wheelchair. He put him on his back and made it to safety. He was far stronger than he realized. We all are far stronger than we realize.

I often post the following quote on Facebook:” God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called”. On September 11, 2001, many were “qualified”.