Throughout history it has been important to tell the stories of our lives so that the next generation will hopefully recall those stories and continue to relay them to future generations. It is in this way that we continue - though our stories. It is also how we are able to keep future generations from making similar mistakes and missteps.
Today being the 10th anniversary of the worst loss of human life in a single day on American soil, it is important that we share our memories, our feelings, our stories. Not because any one story is the most important, but that hopefully generations to come will recall at least some of our stories and continue to remember that day. A day that they may not have even been alive during, but a day that must never be forgotten.
I was working for Fastenal in Winona, MN and was getting ready to set up some daily reports to run. My manager, Brian stuck his head into my cube and with a worried look on his face said, "A plane has just struck one of the Twin Towers in New York." My first thought was that it was probably some small plane of tourists or something that had gotten too close and clipped the building. I started to search the internet for the story and was able to find a television station that was streaming their news just about the time the second plane hit. I watched with horror as I realized that this was not just a simple accident. Then the stories started coming in about the plane headed towards Washington DC, and the Pentagon. Time seemed to stop and I was glued to my chair while the towers fell. There was no greater feeling of powerlessness.
In the days that followed, we continued to live our lives as though walking through a fog as we struggled to understand what actually happened and then grapple with the implications of those events. Our country rallied and even though it has not always been perfect nor made the best decisions in every situation, we came together. It didn't matter party, creed, or race. We came together.
I hope you are able to remember your story today. I recognize that this is a time of great pain for a lot of people who have loved ones who were lost on that day and also in the days following. We should take not just today but each and every day to stand together. To be the great nation that we can be.
I hope that some way, some how, you are able to remember and share your story.