This week we observe 13 years since the unthinkable acts of September 11, 2001. Being a physical witness at the Pentagon where I saw innocent lives taken from us, I not only remember the horror and the possibility of not seeing my loved ones ever again, but also cannot forget the good that came for our Nation and for many of us that day.
It was not my time that crisp, beautiful Tuesday morning. As the world changed in an instant, so did I. God had other purposes for me, other than calling me home that morning. My experience awakened a new passion to assist those who ask “Why them and not me?” and spend a significant amount of life feeling guilty for living. God gave me the blessing to become a father, a cancer patient advocate, and a voice for those experiencing this “Survivor Guilt”. I learned the gift of every second, to give and be the best I can be, as if the next second would be my last one; to live life fully, out loud, and without excuses, being responsible and not limiting my challenges. Some accuse me of being an overachiever, but, thinking about it…, am I? Or am I just using all the talents given to me before it is too late or my time comes and they end up stored and unused at the service of others?
One act, one second, one instant, can and will change someone’s life. May this week and on Thursday, as we observe and remember, let us not forget to think about our purpose. We are all here for a reason. Life is a beautiful gift that we much too often take for granted and one that can be taken from us in an instant. Make it count. Never Forget. To our friends and family members lost that day: Rest in Peace, my friends. Your sacrifice and you will not be forgotten.