In remembrance of Peter Hashem, Flight 11, Seat 20A. Struck the North Tower at 8:46:40 am EST.
The only thing I can say to start is this: Life is precious. And when it ends, for what ever the reason, chances are you will not have any control of the timing or circumstances. So live to the fullest everyday, regardless of where you are in life. Because, the unexpected and the horrific, can also happen too you, not just someone else.
When the tragedy on 9/11 happened it changed many of us, if not all.
Like most I remember exactly where I was. I also remember later that morning standing in line at my local bank watching the televisions while waiting in total utter disbelief along with everyone else in the bank. There was no other sound present than that of the TV.
For all of us – time had stopped.
The days and months that followed with the heroism and the outpouring of help and support is well documented elsewhere. Living in New England at the time you either had gone to Ground Zero yourself to try to offer any help, or someone you knew had. Here’s one I was intimately familiar with.
I owned a local deli at the time in New Hampshire, and the company which supplied me with breads who also was located there, the owner, drove back and forth to Ground Zero every morning to pass out muffins and pastries to the rescue teams in the early dawn. Then, he would drive back up to New Hampshire to begin his own deliveries.
Every day – for months.
No one complained, no one said how hard it was to do, no one was looking for credit. It was just done. It’s just the way it was.
On that day many of us changed. We viewed life a little bit different. It suddenly hit you with laser like focus that life is precious, and death can come at any moment, from anywhere.
No longer was this an esoteric exercise. This was life at its core, and it was playing out in front of our eyes leaving no gray area to ponder.
You either got it – or you didn’t.
In honor of that tragic event I myself set new rules, new guidelines for how I was going to go forward in life. I decided I would live life my way, by my rules. And if I were to die today? So be it.
I could say that because I was going ensure I was living, regardless of economic conditions. Not just trying to exist, or simply get by like so many other do. That was not why we’re given this life. It’s given to us to live, to strive, to chase dreams and sometimes catch a few.
Never let that ideal be taken from you – by anyone. Period.
September 11, 2001 changed my life forever. It’s now hard to comprehend it’s been 20 years since. But as I said, in honor of that tragic day I decided to use it as a reminder that while on this Earth: to live everyday, take nothing for granted, take no one for granted, and live today to chase the dreams of tomorrow. For if I do that one simple step, whether I reach those dreams or not. I will have lived.
For you see, Peter was not only someone who tragically died on that day. He was the younger brother of my close friends growing up. Life doesn’t just happen to someone else. It happens too us all.
We owe it not only to ourselves, but to them: To never forget.
© 2021 Mark St.Cyr