As everyone reflects on 9/11 before we turn our attention to the NFL opening Sunday, I wanted to take a moment and reflect.
It was my senior year of high school, and as usual I was running behind. As I sped down Bryce Lane, local sports radio was interrupted with the news of the first plane. I remember instantly getting scared and looking to the sky for more planes. My initial thoughts were this was an all out attack and every city was going to be hit. When I got to school the TV was tuned news coverage, and the somber day was started.
Watching everything happen, came with the reality that life as we know it was going to change. The security people felt living in America would be shaken, and there was not doubt war would follow. I initially feared my dad would be called back into service, and how that would impact the family.
As time moved on and the fear began to subside, life still was not the same. I could feel the intense hate in the air. Misguided hate for all muslims filled the air. People seemed to forget that all faiths have a level of extremism that exits, and that should not be the basis for how the faiths are viewed.
It was my freshman year of college, that I began to see the impact on my generation. Friends were dropping out of college to fulfill what they believed to be their patriotic duty. I had a lot of respect for their decision, and hoped they didn’t judge me for not joining them. Someone that I will always consider one of my best friends, Joe Vitola, was one of those who joined. It was sad to see him leave so soon after we had become friends, but I understood his decision.
I think it is important on the anniversary for us to reflect on how that day impacted our lives. Hopefully, that reflection will help us towards a brighter future, and to keep our focus on the bigger picture.