Friday, September 9, 2011

FRED Friday...Remembering 9-11 Ten Years Later

FRED Friday…Remembering 9-11 Ten Years Later

In lieu of FRED Friday today, I wanted to take a minute to remember 9-11-01…ten years later. 

OneMoreStep Thought for the Week:  Take time to stop, smell the roses, and embrace the relationships that mean the most to you.  As we learned on that tragic day ten years ago…life has no guarantees.   

What we have today can be taken away from us tomorrow without a moment's notice.  So live for today, and embrace the relationships, friendships, and people that mean the most to you, TODAY; and every day.

This weekend Americans as well as citizens of the world will be reminded of the tragic events of September 11th, 2001.  We’ll all reflect on where we were that day, what we were doing, and the array of thoughts, feelings, and emotions that shot through our hearts and minds like a bolt of lightening.  September 11th is a day unlike any other day.  Some lost family, friends, and love ones who were working in the towers.  Others in the NYFD and NYPD lost their lives trying to save the innocent people.  Friends, families, and loved ones of those caught up in the fury at ground zero were left in shock…and our hearts went out to all involved as we watched and listened to the news.

Remember where you were…remember the thoughts that raced through your mind…remember the people you immediately thought about…remember the relationships that instantly came to mind…

I was in my first week of training as a Front Desk Manager at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.  At around the 9am hour, I was with one of the Bell Services Managers, learning that operation.  I remember being in complete shock, as both Guests and Cast Members were slowly but surely realizing the magnitude of what had just happened.   

I was 22 years old, fresh out of college, and a bundle of nerves as it was.  I remember the feeling I had as a coworker and I were asked to lower the American flag to half-mast.  The iconic, storied Disney’s Contemporary Resort was always one of my favorite resorts of all time (with the monorail running through the middle of the A-framed structure)…and here I was lowering the American flag on September 11th, 2001.  It was surreal to say the least.

I remember the flood of thoughts, feelings, and emotions as I began to realize the impact of the events that just transpired.  I first thought about my family in Kentucky – were they ok?  I remember stepping backstage to call my dad…confirmed my family was ok.  Check.  Next, I thought about my friends…from high school, college, and several that I had met only a few months prior.  Were they ok?  A few emails internally to the Disney folks and some close friends from college confirmed that they were ok.  Check. 
Been wearing the Old Glory cuff links every day this week

I think I’ll remember that evening of September 11th, 2001 as well as the days/weeks that followed, for the rest of my life.  Remember the feeling?  The people you thought about when you first heard the news and the people with whom you surrounded yourself in the days and weeks following were certainly the most important people in your life.  At least they were to me.   

The night of September 11th, I can remember hosting several people to my apartment.  We were inseparable for weeks, months, and in many ways we still are to this day.  My friends and I were close to begin with, but from that day forward we shared thoughts, feelings, and emotions with one another that brought us even closer together.  We wore American flag pins on our lapels at work, at home, and each night we went out together…for the remainder of 2001. 
These guys are FREDs - Late September 2001...we were inseparable

Remember the relationships that either formed or were strengthened ten years ago when those planes hit the towers.  I often think about those very relationships and friendships that meant so much to me then, and how fortunate I am to still have those people in my life today.   

I think I’m so close with so many of my friends to this day because we all realized just how much our relationships meant to each other on September 11th.  As the darkest of thoughts crept into our hearts and minds, we began to think – What if something happened to him or her?  What if all of a sudden they were gone?  How much would we miss them?

It sounds deep, but isn’t that the beauty of relationships and friendships that matter?  We care about them.  We laugh with them.  We love them.  We are there for them, and they are there for us.  As we all go through this weekend, Remembering 9-11…remember the relationships that matter to you…TODAY.  If we look at the big picture, we can quickly set aside petty differences and focus on the good stuff.  Embrace the relationships that matter to you.  Love them.  Show them.  Tell them how much they mean to you…and simply enjoy every minute.  As we learned 10 years ago, there are no guarantees…who knows what can happen tomorrow…

So live for today…embrace the people and relationships that mean the most to you.  When you think you’ve embraced them enough…go OneMoreStep, and show them just how much you value their friendship. 

Remember…Never Forget…9-11-01

Romans 8:28-31


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