I’m not a super political person. Yes, I have my beliefs, both personal and political, and I tend to keep them to myself. That doesn’t mean that if someone wants to engage me in a polite discussion that I won’t state my opinion on certain topics. But honestly, I feel that sometimes it would do some good if people just used some restraint when it comes to certain things.
That being said, I remember a few months ago when I read a comment from a U.S. House of Representatives member, and while referring to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the representative said, “Some people did something.”
I understood what she was trying to say and I just went on with my day. But the line, “Some people did something” stuck with me.
In July, the lovely Mrs. Dossi and I visited New York, and while we were there, we visited Ground Zero. I, like many of you, will never forget what I was doing, what I was thinking, and how I felt on Sept. 11 and the days and months that followed. But, growing up in California, New York seemed like it was another world. It’s hard to understand the horrific tragedies that took place that day while sitting in a living room in Tuolumne.
After visiting the site where the World Trade Center buildings once stood, I now have a better understanding of what happened that September morning. New York turned the area where the towers once stood into a beautiful memorial. Standing there, I couldn’t help but think of all the men and women who died in that very spot. People who were just at work doing their jobs, much like I am doing right now. They were people who kissed their spouses goodbye in the morning before heading out the door, just like I do. They were no different than me.
There are the names of the victims that surround the perimeter of where each building was and I looked up some of those names. The first person I looked up was a man, 31 years old, who had only been married for a few years. As I looked around, I found myself getting angry at people who were being loud, laughing and taking selfies. Have you no respect?
After touring Ground Zero, we visited the 9/11 Memorial Museum. As I walked through and saw artifacts from that day, it was hard to not get emotional. While seeing a shoe of someone who jumped from one of the towers only to fall to their death, or hearing the frightened voicemails from people calling their loved ones from the hijacked planes, once again, I couldn’t help but think, “Some people did something.”
Inside the museum, there are pieces from one of the planes that hit one of the towers, papers that had covered the streets below like snow, and the gutted remains of ambulances and fire trucks. There were uniforms worn by firefighters who died trying to rescue people. There were signs posted from families of the victims who were looking for their loved ones.
But remember, “Some people did something.”
As time goes on, we tend to forget things. Good times don’t feel as good and bad times don’t seem as bad. I hope that we truly never forget what happened on Sept. 11, 2001. It was a horrible day. Thousands of people died who were no different than you or me. So, if you ever get the chance to visit New York, stop by Ground Zero. Try to imagine the living hell that was 9/11. It’s an experience you’ll never forget. I know I won’t.