Where has the Spirit of THAT Day gone?

911-flag-and-buildingsTomorrow is the 15th anniversary of one of the most tragic days in our history.  I was there.  I was there for 36 straight hours and saw things that were beyond frightening. Many know my story and I’m not going to re-tell it today but I want to share an observation.

When people ask me what is the most memorable aspect of ‘that day’, my answer is usually the same, in as much as there was plenty of horror, it was the human spirit shown on that day forward that remains with me.

What people did to care for others during this time was tremendous.  The outpouring of love and the incredible drive to help one another was remarkable.  The manner in which we came together to give, give, and give even more in all things physical and spiritual was unprecedented.

Somewhere, we lost that spirit, I think.

I get sad when I see some of what I see.  When we become less compassionate when a child needs diabetes supplies and an entire community writes to a CEO to change the fact that the child is denied for reasons that make no sense; that is bothersome to me.

In a country where seniors are mis-treated, almost abused, for much-needed life-saving medical equipment for the only reason they turn 65; that is bothersome to me.

When I see this country, literally, act with such bitterness—REAL BITTERNESS– toward each other merely based on their political belief, that is bothersome to me.

When I see division on how we treat each other relying more on why we are different rather than what we have in common; that is bothersome to me.

When I see discussions more to prove how ‘right’ one is and how ‘wrong’ another is with such ugly tones in the discussion; that is bothersome to me.

Have we become a me right, you wrong society?  Do we need another 2996 people to be killed in an attack to remind us what we should all be about?  Do we need death and pain to soften our hearts once again?  What will it take?

I usually find a corner to be by myself on 9/11 anniversaries; to reflect of the people I met on that day and continue to pray for them and the so many families I was in contact with who lost loved ones on that day  I also try to do something good for someone on anniversary days, albeit as small as it might be. I’m glad I have a diabetes meeting to attend tomorrow.

We are an angry nation.  We are a bitter nation.  And we are facing off against each other more than ever before.  There IS SO MUCH good in our world, but the focus is constantly on the bad.  I want the America back again that I witnessed in the aftermath of fifteen years ago; it seemed like we had a more unified spirit.  I liked that spirit.

A light kept in the dark too long will come to a point where it is so extinguished that it can never be lit again.  We should look very hard within to find that spirit of light again, it served us well.

I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.


There is Just Something About the Number 11…….Sigh…..I Was There.

world trade centerEvery time I see an ’11’ I cannot help but think of the two towers in lower Manhattan.  When it has a ‘September’ before it, it brings me back to a time of not only incredible pain but also incredible human spirit.  That day, was today.

I was there.

I have often said that I saw things one could not have nightmares about.  But I also state for the 36 straight hours I was down there, I witnessed a magnificent human spirit.  People did things to help that you could never imagine.  People came together from all walks of life for one reason, to help.

No religion.  No color.  No anything but incredible compassion.  Incredible caring.  And the unyielding energy to get the job done.  It was a sorrowful and hateful day; but it also showed us at our best.  I will never get over what I saw, I like the word cope….I learned to cope with what I saw.

Cuts, blood, death, bodies dropping from the sky almost like raindrops……one learns to cope.  We push it to a place where we can cope with it……it allows us to move on.  So on this day, remember what happened?  Sure.  We will all know where we were at that time, that exact moment the towers were hit.  But also remember through the pain, death, and sorrow……..we moved on.

Moving on is a good thing.  We have done that…….but as I look around at the world which surrounds us, it would sure be great to see much more of that human spirit, that human resolve, once again.  It served us well fourteen years ago and it would surely serve us well today.  Maybe if we all look for it a bit in our hearts, it will take over once again.  I surely hope so.  If you need a reminder, think of it every time you see an ’11’.

I am a diabetes dad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

A 9/11 Memory Just Sent to Me…..12 Years Later….My Hands are Shaking!

911 CNNOn this, a special and incredible day of remembrance. After I wrote about it and it was sent to everyone this morning.   After working so hard over the years to push down so much of what I saw; to work so hard to place things in compartments in my mind and in my memory………this absolutely comes from the OMG you have got to be F****’en kidding me files. 

I received the link below from a friend of mine today with a note that simply stated: “Don’t know if you ever saw this but today being 12 years later, you may want to.”

You do not have to watch the entire clip but what caught my attention starts at about the 27 second mark and lasts about 1 minute.  It is not an earth shattering clip but when you are part of something that only happened because of a series of events of which you could only react and not control; and you thought it would be safely tucked away only in your memory; to have it all of a sudden played back to you—-that small clip becomes enormous.

I was tired, I had been all over lower Manhattan, I went right from work about 21 hours earlier after they shut down our building, I had not slept.  They asked me for a business card, shoved a microphone in front of my face and all of a sudden……boom—-I’m on CNN.

I literally just saw it for the first time about an hour ago. 

I cannot tell you how my hands are shaking right now.  This clip is bringing everything back so quickly and unexpectedly.  I am so grateful it was shared, it just reminds me even more about what I wrote earlier today.

This reminded me of the oh so many who helped, and people are incredible; truly.

Here is the clip:

As I remember the whole story again; and too much to write right now, it is all so clearly in front of me at this moment; which it has not been in so long;  tears are rolling down my cheeks.

Wow.    Sigh.

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.


Yeah, I was there! Never Forget………Have We?

9 11 towersThose who know me well know my story with 9/11.  The 36 hours I spent down there from 9/11 to 9/12 provided images that many could not have nightmares about.  It was a day that transformed my life, as it did for a grieving nation.

Every where you look you see the date 9/11 with the words ‘Never Forget’ right next to it or below it.  But are we forgetting?

This was not just a day of names that must never be forgotten.  It was a spirit.  To those of us who lost loved ones and friends of course there will be thoughts today.  Local stations will cover the reading of the names of the lost.  A bell will sound.

CNN showed the first two people reading names, went to commercial (and even dropped the little box they usually kept in the lower corner showing the people reading names from around the country) and when they came back from commercial break; continued the news as normal. That is their choice.  But if we are to remember today, it should be remembered as a “STOP AND REMEMBER” day, and not merely a ‘today in the news…..” type story.  As if this date is just a normal day.

This is not a normal day.  This was not a normal day.  This will never be a normal day again.

To those that know my story also know that I have shared of not only the horror, but the incredible spirit that I witnessed 12 years ago.  That American Spirit that had people helping far beyond what anyone could have ever imagined.  The rest of the country had this spirit also. 

The best way to remember this day is to not only recognize the names of those who were killed in Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, and New York but to renew the spirit we showed each other.

Lately, have you even read a response if someone says they are Republican or Democrat on FB?  Have you seen the personal attacks from our elected officials on Capitol Hill?  Have you ever seen so many statements of; “….this is my opinion and if you disagree you are wrong and by the way, you’re a pig too….” attitudes.  Just hurtful, sometimes.

I get it.  Freedom of speech and disagreements and discussions are healthy.  THAT is not to what I am referring.  The Spirit of America; is it getting pushed further and further into the background?

Lately, this is a country of division.

Political belief, race, sexual orientation, and even having an opinion; if it is against the mainstream (or just the loudest) we are very quick to ‘pounce’ in retaliation.

Twelve years ago we saw a different America.  I remember seeing a taxi cab driving in New York and the air was so still you could actually hear the rubber of the tire on the road as it drove up the street.  People nodded to each other, said hello, or at the very least smiled to passing strangers as if to say, “we both understand”.   ON THAT DAY, I saw people come from every corner to help, to want to help, to need to help; in any way no matter how small.

This was not a naive America; this was an America that knew what we meant to each other.  It’s unfortunate that it took thousands of deaths and 4 planes to be commandeered out of the skies to remind us…….but it did.  It reminded us how important we still are to each other from every walk of life; we are Americans.

The more we ‘go to commercial breaks’, the further we will get away from what is important.  It’s not just a list of names, it was not only the death of so many; it was a birth of spirit we had forgotten existed.  It is this spirit that also needs to be remembered.

Let’s not wait for four more planes, or worse, to have to be reminded again.

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.