Time continues to fly by and September is almost half over. For the first part of this week, like many others, I remembered where I was seventeen years ago when the world changed. I have not seen the memorials in New York but I have seen a piece of that history here in California.
One day, on the way home from work, I was stopped in traffic, waiting for a traffic light to change. As I sat there, I noticed a fire truck in the lane next to me. I also noticed people waving to the fireman driving the truck, which surprised me. As I looked at the truck again, I noticed it looked different. It was an older truck and painted differently than our local trucks. The traffic light changed and as I moved up closer to the truck, I noticed the letters “FDNY” on the side. Then I saw a phrase and crept up a little closer so I could read it. On the side of truck I read “This rescue truck responded to the World Trade Center on 9/11” and it dawned on me that I was sitting next to a fire truck that is a piece of history. When traffic started moving and my car was even with the cab I also waved at the fire truck that had traveled so far, in distance and time.
When I got home I searched and found out about the Remembrance project. There are two trucks that are maintained by the organization for education about 9/11. The truck is maintained by local fire departments and loaned out across the country. The organization is called The Remembrance Rescue Project and one of the trucks was on loan in the San Diego area.
I wanted to see the truck again and I had the chance at the annual car show in downtown San Diego. In addition to the rescue truck they also have items recovered from the towers, pictures and placards about that day. I have seen the exhibit twice now and each time I am moved at seeing this piece of history. Seeing a stopped watch, a piece of glass and a broken phone brings home what happened in a way that watching videos does not. Ordinary people, like you and I, were suddenly thrust into history, their lives turned upside down.
I was going to write about a busy life and the importance of stopping for a moment to enjoy the current moment. With this anniversary of 9/11 this week, the memories added another reminder about taking time out to be grateful for what we have. The older I get, the more value I find in watching a sunset, the change of the seasons and the good times spent with family and friends. I hope everyone is able to find time for those moments as life rushes by.
Pictures by J.T. Harpster