I'm sure all of you can remember what you were doing on this very day when the events we now refer to as 9/11 took place. I had just begun my senior year of college and decided to go to the batting cage in between classes to get a little extra practice in. When I came back to my apartment, my roommate Mike said, "A plane just flew into one of the World Trade Center towers." I, along with the rest of world, sat and watched the shock and horror that had befallen our nation. Three weeks prior, I was in Washington D.C., finishing up my internship on Capitol Hill. After learning about the plane that flew into the Pentagon, my thoughts immediately went to my former co-workers. I grabbed my phone and called the office, praying that nobody would answer, out of fear that the Capitol Building might be hit next.
My next class was scheduled for 1030am, so I quickly got ready and walked over. My professor, a native New Yorker, began with an announcement that despite the events that had taken place, we needed to press on and continue our lesson for the day. Although this might seem somewhat strange and irrelevant, that was probably the most reassuring thing he could have done for a group of scared, unnerving college students. We all knew the world we lived in was about to change dramatically, just not sure how.
I think about that day often, as well as all the events that have taken place over the past 7 years that brought me here, to where I am today. I wish I could say that I joined the military because of 9/11, that I wanted to seek revenge on those who seek to harm us, but that would be a lie. I do, however, serve with a number of individuals who point to those events as their rationale for joining, some of whom lost a loved one on that fateful day. I thank God, not only for the sacrifices they have made, but also for their willingness to press on with life, despite their circumstances.
When I lost a friend of mine in high school, his wrestling coach stopped by one my classes and spoke on what Scott had meant to him. Noticing my unease, he looked directly at me and said, "The band of life marches on." Those words he uttered will forever remain with me.When you think about today, and the many images that run rampantly through your mind, take just a moment and realize all that has happened to you and those you love over the past 7 years. We have all seen success and failure, happiness and pain, rejoicing and sorrow; yet, the band of life continues to march on.
Take care and God bless.