On this day years ago I was living in San Diego, California and was married to a Marine. I remember waking up to a phone call from my mom who was panicked and said “turn on the TV”. When I did I saw the terror and horror that was happening in New York, when the realization came in that this was not a fictional show and that this was actually happening I started to panic. My sister lived in New York City, where is she? Where was her live in boyfriend (now my bro-in law)? What in the hell was happening? My mom had tried and tried to get a hold of my sister with no luck, we all kept trying. We were absolutely panicked, worse case scenario going through our heads. And then the phone rang, it was my mom saying she had talked to my sister and my sister was safe as was her boyfriend. I remember falling to the floor and just crying, it was the adrenaline and the fear of what was happening to our great country. And then came my own selfish thought of what was going to happen to my Marine husband…base was locked down, it was impossible to talk to him. A few weeks later he deployed. A few months later my sister and her boyfriend moved away from New York City. The pain and terror of that event was enough to drive many out of that great city.
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Every September 11 I spend some time to reflect about what so many gave in an act of terrorism. Our country is great and I believe that every year we should all take a few moments (or hours) to be grateful to our men and women in uniform…in military uniforms, in police uniforms, in firefighting uniforms, in EMT uniforms, in chaplain uniforms, in red cross uniforms, in public utilities uniforms, in ER doc uniforms, in ER nurses uniforms, and in 9-1-1 dispatch uniforms.

Fact: 2,977 people were killed on September 11, 2001
Included were-
Firefighters: 343
Police Officers: 60
EMT’s: 8
(source Wilkipedia)

These men and women hear, see, smell, touch, and professionally deal with the worst of the worst. I could go into detail about the horrible things they deal with on a daily basis, but if you are one of these men or women then you already know and if you are not then just trust me you should respect and show amazing amounts of gratitude to them.

It tears me apart when I see our country fighting against each other because of skin color, race, profession, or sex. Our country has been torn apart enough by terrorism, so for goodness sakes get our crap together and start being more compassionate and kind to one another. No excuses. Do not act bad just because the other person did, instead give them kindness and gratitude and patience. Do not be a jerk because you see something on TV that the 30 seconds you saw made you hate an entire profession. Love one another and know that these men and women that put on those uniforms on a daily basis have pain they are dealing with, they have loved ones they want to go home to, and sometimes they are taking orders that are given from way above their pay grade. So trust them, be kind to them, and wave with all 5 fingers!!

I am grateful that I have my sister still, every morning when we workout together I think about how grateful I am that she is here. I am grateful that my husband (who is actually not still my husband, but is still important because he is my daughter’s dad) came home safe from every deployment. And I am grateful to those that gave it all and those families that gave their loved ones to this country. These are our true heroes. As much as I like Captain America and Iron Man the true heroes are those that put on those uniforms and do the dirty work for the rest of us.