12 years ago today, I awoke to prepare for work. The morning was seemingly typical for September in Cleveland sunny, cool, clear blue skies and a slightly brisk wind. I didn't watch TV nor did I turn the radio on during my drive that day. For some reason that I can't remember I was lost in thought. Riding the elevator in the parking garage I began hearing conversations about some sort of terrorist attack. Wasn't sure what I was hearing and didn't ask, but I could see the worry on the faces of those who were having the discussion.

I arrived in my office around 8:45am and the firm was eerily quiet and no one could be found. After standing around confused for a few minuets a co-worker came to the doorway of my office to ask me had I heard what happened. I replied "I wasn't sure." She looked at me with a dead on stare and stated "You know what it is..." and walked away. That moment has always haunted me. Apparently the staff were in the main conference room watching the events on the news.

I immediately turned on my computer to watch one of the most horrific events to ever take place on American soil. The feelings of bewilderment, despair and uncertainty had never dominated my mind in such a way until that fateful morning on September 11, 2001. I can recall thinking "How we will we be able to recover from such an attack?" The country was vulnerable in a way that it had never known and many of us were afraid. So many lives lost...

In the coming weeks I watched the country embrace GOD. He was now important and relevant to this nation again. People ran to houses of worship seeking for the help and comfort of the Lord to help put the pieces of their lives back together again. A certain resilience began to take place. People were nicer, kinder as if this tragedy was actually bringing us closer together even if just for a little while.

Things were never more clearer to me of how resilient of a country we were until I went to New York for my cousin Stacie Jones Ducette's wedding that November. I wondered what would the city feel like after that. Would the mood of the people be sad & somber? Not to say that those feelings weren't present amongst some, but to my surprise I saw the city moving forward with vigor and hope for a better future. That was awe-inspiring to me and gave me the hope that we could and would recover from that heartbreaking chapter of our country's history.

To those who died on that September morning, you will never be forgotten and for those who fought to save victims of that tragedy, your heroic efforts too will never be forgotten...

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