Today is the anniversary of one of our nation’s most tragic events… bombings of the World Trade Center and Pentagon and take down of UA Flight 93. As promised in the days immediately after the unthinkable, we pause each year on 9/11 and remember those who died innocently and those who gave their lives trying to save them.
In my anthology released in June, Words Flow Through Me, I included the tribute I wrote after the death of my former employer, Bud Hadfield. Within is this paragraph:
My dad, with whom I had a terrific relationship, died suddenly four years before I met Bud, so it was natural he would serve as a father figure. When the first plane struck the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, I went into his office to inform him, and said, ‘I don’t know what to feel or think right now.’ My dad enlisted in the Navy the day after Pearl Harbor, and I needed someone to add perspective. ‘When you’re attacked,’ Bud said, “you do what you have to do.‘
In the days, weeks, months and years that followed we did what we had to do. Things got better. Then came an unending war. Then the financial crisis. Then the stock market crash. Then things got better for a long time. Then Covid.
The slog is into its seventh month and the emotional meter rises with every promise of a vaccine and falls whenever an AstraZeneca tells us it’s a long road to approval. Yet, we must stay confident that one day, hopefully, soon, we will come out the other side… and in 5, 10, 19 years, we’ll pause to remember our shared experiences.
Bud died nearly 10 years after 9/11, so he’s not here to provide guidance to me. However, I’m confident that if I could walk into his office and ask for perspective today, he would deliver one of his favorite sayings: “Let’s go to work!”