The day of September 11, 2001 will unquestionably be one of the most remembered days in the history of our country. On the day of the attack, I had one daughter working in New York City and one daughter going to college in Washington, DC. It took us several hours after the attack to reach both daughters to make sure they were OK. Later that week my wife and I drove our van to Washington, DC and New York City to see our children and to observe history.
I will never forget the quiet of New York City. There were no taxi cabs on the streets. No one was in a hurry. People were simply taking time to care for others. We went down to ground zero and while the smell and sight of this enormous tragedy was overwhelming, it was heartwarming to see how fire fighters and other rescue personnel were treated and revered. As trucks carrying very large steel beams that were twisted like pretzels drove by, people stood and cheered.
In Washington, DC large US military fighter jets were flying over the city nonstop and people were looking to the sky to see if another attack was in process. Tears, hugs and spontaneous tenderness and compassion were all around. The amount of donated food, water and clothing donated in both cities was inspiring to see.
While these were difficult days for our country, I remember how proud I felt that people put aside their differences that sometimes keep us apart and came together to celebrate the values we share and the compassion we have for each other.q