Remembering 9/11

So much has happened in the 10 years since the tragedy of 9/11/01.  The day the world changed.

I remember the day of September 11th, 2001 vividly.  We were on the ice practicing, when the ice rink manager came to the side of the ice and whispered something to our coach.  I thought to myself, “I wonder what that was all about?”  I had a hunch there was something going on.  We continued practice as usual, finished, and showered up.  We got into the team van to drive back to campus.  I was driving.  The guys in the back of the van were messing around, I turned the radio on, and instantly heard, “The North Tower is on the ground. ”  I told the guys to quiet down and listen up.  We were in instant shock.  We couldn’t figure out what was gong on.  We listened intently the rest of the way back to campus.  Our school, Fairfield University, was 45 minutes north of Manhattan.  A good majority of the 2500 students at Fairfield had some type of connection to the people who worked in the World Trade Center, including several players on the hockey team.

We arrived back  at the house and turned on the TV to see the fallen towers and the chaos which ensued.  I was overwhelmed with sadness, frustration, anger, and confusion.  “Who would do this?”  “What type of sick person in this world would ever conceive such a disgusting and cowardly plot?”  I felt so sorry for the helpless people who went to work that morning, kissed their kids/loved ones good-bye, and were ready for just another day of trying to provide for their family.  Let’s face it, for most people work is what they do so they can afford to live their life.  The people who died on 9/11 were innocent people just trying to get by in life.

I can say, there is not a day that has went by since 9/11 in which I have not thought about the events of that day.  I didn’t directly know anyone who died that day, but I think of all of the lives effected because of that day.  I think of all of the lives changed that day.  I think of the horror experienced by the people in the towers that day.  I think of the sadistic, evil in this world that would dream up and carry out such a plan.  But, most of all, I think about what I can do to make my life count, in remembrance of those who lost their lives on 9/11.  The thought of how those innocent people died, drives me to be a better person.  It drives me to live my life and to not take one second for granted.

Too many people forget the events of 9/11.  There are too many people in the U.S.A. that are obsessed with money, possessions, work, materialistic objects, etc. and they lose sight of what is really important.  You can’t take those things with you when you die.  What if some twisted jerk decided to do something stupid and you were there?  I think, “What if I was in the towers on 9/11.  Would I be happy with the way I lived my life?  Would you?”

In the years since 9/11/01 I have graduated college, played professional ice hockey, worked for my father in Chicago, moved to California, worked at Enterprise Rent a Car, found the sport of triathlon, made a ton of new friends, kept in contact with old friends, worked at Coria Labs, turned professional triathlete, left full-time work to pursue my passion as pro triathlete/coach; all the while maintaining a positive attitude and remembering that no matter how mean/negative/selfish some people are; that I am better than that.  I will not compromise my values for the good of anyone of any thing.  I will stay true to myself.

My parents raised me as a caring, loving person.  There was no strife in my house while I was growing up.  My family is extremely close and we will remain that way forever.  What 9/11/01 did for me is remind me why I live my life the way I do.  I want to be the complete opposite of the cowards who flew those planes and ended all of those lives.  I want to be positive, loving, driven, dedicated, and honest.  I want to pursue my dreams and goals without any challenge too great to overcome.  Most of all, I want to be an example of how to live your life in the greatest country on the planet.  I love the U.S.A. Make sure you appreciate everything the U.S.A. stands for and live your life better because of it.  RACE HARD(Whatever your race may be)!


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