This is by far the most difficult post I have ever had to write. I am struggling to find the right words to say given all that is happening in the world right now. Close to home, we have been hit with Harvey & Irma, and while we grieve the devastation, we also grieve the pain of September 11, 2001. While, the words are hard to come by and sadness rings in my thoughts, I am also reminded of the love of community, which brings hope and comfort to so many.
On September 11, 2001, I was sitting at my corporate office in Charlotte, NC, running an 8:30am meeting, which was quickly interrupted at 8:50am with the terrible news that something had it the World Trade Center. I remember abruptly ending the call and frantically trying to track down loved ones that worked in & near the building. As I stood in disbelief, surround by colleagues, watching the TV coverage, my heart sank as the second airplane struck the building. At that moment, I knew this was not an accident. Like the rest of the Country, we knew in that moment we were under attack.
My fiancé kept calling family & friends while I worked to keep everyone on my team calm. At the time, Charlotte was the 2nd largest financial hub in America and we were terrified that we could be next. Not knowing the motive of the attacks, panic set in. I went desk by desk to every person on the floor and told him or her to calmly evacuate. It was time to go home and take refuge. As I was sending people home and trying to remain calm for the sake of others, the news came that the pentagon had been hit. Knowing far too many people that work there, my heart stopped beating for a moment. I remembering taking a deep breath and reminding myself, I had one job to do at that point and that was evacuate the people on my floor safely and calmly.
By the time I made it out of the building, flights had been grounded and traffic around town was in gridlock. I remember looking to the sky to see stillness and the ominous calm of the skies. Being near the airport, there was often as much air traffic as ground traffic. To see nothing in the sky was never a thought that had crossed my mind. On the drive home, my heart was heavy, as I thought of all the people I knew in immediate danger. Cell towers were down and there was no way to make contact. All I could do was pray for their safe return and send thoughts of peace to them.
As the days past on, something extraordinary happened across the Country. There was a sense of fellowship and love that extended across the nation. People proudly displayed the American Flag everywhere and we embraced each other regardless of our differences, because in that moment there were no sides. There was only 1 side and we were all Americans. Sadly, as time went on the divide grew once again and this year, more than ever we have seen a deep divide, not only within our own Country, but also across the World. Now we are faced with the aftermath of 2 horrific storms, Harvey and Irma, and yes we are coming together to help each other again, I’m saddened that it takes such devastation for us to express love towards one another.
Why does it take a disaster for us to put aside differences of opinion? Why can’t we learn to have open conversation, appreciate difference, and show love on a daily basis? I believe this is our time to rise up, as a united human race to encourage love, be kind to one another, help each other and find ways to teach others how to find the path to joy. This can only be accomplished one by one and all together as one.
Today let us remember all those who lost their lives on September 11th, the families that have an empty seat at the table tonight, the men & women who have lost their lives fighting for our Country, the children who will never know their parents who were lost, and all of those effected by Harvey & Irma. There are many things we can do to help our fellow humans, including prayer & meditation. Sometimes it is difficult for people to physically get to a place to provide hands on help and that’s where the power of prayer comes in. Through mediation & prayer, love and a sense of hope can be felt millions of miles away. I urge you to pray for the lost souls, pray for the wounded, pray for those suffering, and pray for the good of human kind. Let us be united and truly love one another.
Love & Happiness,