A day for reflecting…

So as a native New Yorker I felt compelled to at least write something on this very somber day…

When I woke up this morning to Good Day NY, I was instantly reminded of the date and was brought back to that morning seven years ago like it was yesterday. I saw on the news that there was a big ceremony in Pt. Lookout not far from where I live. I could literally feel the heaviness in the air and tried to psych myself up for my busy day…

Of course hearing Greg Kelly ask every guest what they were doing on that day made me immediately recall in vivid detail what I was doing…which was watching the news in my towel at the Sigma Kappa sorority house in Kingston, RI. I missed my 9:30 class (for once it was for a legitimate reason!) and glued myself to the TV for most of the day. I remember frantically calling my family and not being able to get a hold of my brother, who was living in the city and working near the towers, for hours. Thankfully, I didn’t lose anyone close to me, but nevertheless I remain forever affected by that day…

A defining moment for me came later that night. I was sitting on the porch of our house with a bunch of girls just talking things over when literally hundreds of students, many with candles, came walking by humming a spiritual tune. Without a word exchanged, we all got up and just started walking with them. We didn’t know where we were going, and I don’t think it mattered. We finally ended up at the chapel at the top of our campus which was literally bursting at the seems with people. I couldn’t tell you what was said at the service that day, but I could probably recreate the scene with a sketch artist down to a T. I remember exactly what I was wearing (an old volleyball camp T-shirt and black gym shorts), exactly how hot it was (HOT), and everyone that was sitting around me. I remember singing along to Amazing Grace and crying from the shock and sadness but at the same time feeling overcome with emotions such as pride, thankfulness and many other things.

The next day, September 12th, is one of my closest friend’s birthday. Seven years ago I spent it with her, a few other friends and a bunch of old sailors at a dive bar in Narragansett, RI. We had cancelled our plans to celebrate that night in light of the tragedy that had just taken place, but after sitting around our house for hours being sad, we decided to get out of the house. We ended up at a neighborhood bar that felt so safe that night. It was dark and quiet and everyone was just sort of sitting there, staring into their drinks and not saying much. Somehow between the jukebox, the cheap beers and the dusty overhead lights, a conversation that I will always remember took place about life, love and tragedy. That night, Four young and naive sorority girls had something in common with a bunch of aged, worldly seaman. I will always remember that night just as vividly as I remember the day before. It will always remind me how tragedy brings people together, as cliche as it sounds.

Tonight I was watching the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC and was hoping to be truly inspired by one of the presidential candidates’ words. Maybe I was just expecting too much, but I wasn’t moved. I know they were trying to put partisan issues aside for one day, but it didn’t seem that way to me. I hope I feel differently tomorrow when the fierce race to the White House continues without the sensitive issues this day has raised.

Let’s let Lee Greenwood sign this one off with the tune of “I’m Proud to be an American”…oh yeah, and happy birthday Jenny Lee!

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