Today marks the 16th anniversary of that sad and terrible September day. Like most people, I vividly recall exactly what I was doing. I was the principal at Loy Elementary School. I was the principal of the school where almost every parent of the students within the school was in lockdown on Malmstrom Air Force Base. The Base was in real-world Threat Condition Delta. The parents weren’t sure what was going on, they were unable to leave their homes or work to get to their children, there was uncertainty as to if or when Malmstrom would open its gates at the end of the school day, and the media was wanting a story about all of it. Oh ya, I remember that day well.
This summer, I had the privilege of visiting the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City. It tells the story of what happened on 9/11, including the events at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the story of Flight 93. The exhibition explores the background leading up to the events and examines the aftermath and continuing implications. It reminds us of the bravery of fire fighters, law enforcement officers and ordinary citizens. It reminds us that we must never forget.
We complimented this visit by taking in the Broadway play “Come From Away” which tells the story of 38 planes and 7,000 passengers that were diverted to the small town of Gander on the island of Newfoundland. It’s a wonderful story of a community coming together to help strangers.
As I serve pancakes this morning at our own community’s remembrance breakfast at Fire Station #1, I will contemplate what I learned at the Memorial and at the play this summer. I will remember how lucky we are to live in a country where we are protected by so many who put their lives on the line for others. I will remember that communities can and do come together to help and support others. I will also recommit myself to thanking those who take care of us and to doing my part to support community efforts that help others. As we embark upon the annual giving campaign that will commence in a few weeks, I hope you will join me.
Take care. Be safe. Stay well.