Because of my job, I ended up watching all 9/11 coverage for 8 hours a day for several weeks. I cried every day, I even stopped wearing make-up, because it ended up running down my face anyway. I heard stories of the families missing a loved one, children who lost their parents, and husbands and wives who called their spouse one last time to say goodbye. It was brutal. I truly believe I left a big part of my innocence in that control room in 2001, realizing for the first time no day is a guarantee and there are some really bad people out there.
10 years later, it still feels so raw, I'm even crying as I write this. But I want to take a moment to thank all the heroes who emerged that day, who without even a second thought, helped save lives.
To Todd Beamer, Mark Bingham, Tom Burnett, Jeramy Glick and the other heroes on Flight 93, we thank you. With the words "Let's Roll", you fought back and kept the plane from hitting perhaps the U.S. Capitol or The White House. Your bravery and sacrifices likely saved thousands of lives. (Click here to watch a really great story on Mark Bingham.)
To Rick Rescorla, a security worker who helped 2,700 people escape despite being told to stay put, we thank you. You ran back in to save more people when the south tower collapsed. Your sacrifices will not be forgotten.
To the countless number of police officers and firefighters who ran into the burning buildings without a moment's hesitation, we thank you.
9/11 did not break us. It has made us stronger and showed what humanity at its finest looks like. We will never forget.