It has been 11 years since 9/11. Do you remember where you were? I do, just like it was yesterday. I was in class facilitating training for the TD Waterhouse group. I remember walking around the corner and seeing a whole group of people staring at the TV in the lounge. We couldn't believe it. What was going on, it was incredible, inconceivable. I went back to my class and told them. Many knew some of the staff of our US TD Waterhouse group and some had spoken to the folks working in New York. It was very hard to continue the lesson. I am so glad it was just a morning session. I sat at my desk trying to find as much information as I possibly could on the Internet. I remember going home and not being able to pull myself away from the TV. I just couldn't comprehend the devastation. No one could have predicted the result. What kind of people would do this.
The next July I had the opportunity to go to New York City. You could still smell it in the air, the smell of old smoke. Walking around Ground Zero was very humbling and quiet. Staring through the fence at that humongous whole in the ground where the towers once stood.
Walking past the firehouse that had lost so many. There were hundreds of cloth badges from Fire Departments from all around the world attached to the garage door. There was a church nearby with an iron fence that went around it. Attached to the fence were hundreds of notices, posters looking for missing people. There were momento's wrapped in plastic bags. Prayer beads and pictures of those that were never found. The city had preserved everything and had lights shining on it all. It was eerie but peaceful. I wonder if it is still there. There was a Hallmark store just down the street from Ground Zero that had posted pictures of what it had looked like in September. There was only one company that had been licensed to sell picture albums and souvenirs at a very nominal price. It was something that people needed to see and have to keep and it also needed to be controlled. It was probably the only time the media behaved with such tact and finesse. You could buy NYPD and NYFD t-shirts on every corner from the same company. My son still has his, he was wearing it just the other day. I remember picking up an old piece of asphalt, I still have it. Sometimes I just take it out of the box and hold it. Just to remember how lucky I am.
It is incredible to see how much has changed because of that day and since that day. It is also amazing to see the good it brought out in so many people. We are a world of diverse belief's, experiences and understandings. It is hard to believe that one group of people would treat another group with such disregard. I always try to remember that people only know what they are given exposure too. Not everyone has access to education, books and free world information the way we do.
I have always taught my children my golden rule 'To treat others the way you want to be treated' It doesn't stem from any religion, it just makes sense to me.