As the sun seemed to take a final dip into the lake at the Silverlake Marina on Lake Grapevine in Texas this evening, I relived the highlights of what this day has meant.
It has been quite a journey for those of us who can relive the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Everything changed in a New York minute. Transportation came to a halt in New York City and airplanes were not flying. It was an eerie time. For me personally, living so close to DFW Airport the silence was deafening. For many people trying to get in touch with loved ones in NY, PA, or DC phone services were interrupted. By nightfall, and many months later, it seemed as if the world stopped and people were caught up in a nightmare.
Despite how we were impacted by the violence, what kept us together was our courage. Challenges were many. The American Flag became the catalyst for positive change, compassion, and determination to become stronger than ever. Many were prepared and ready to fight. People were not afraid to pray or say, I love you. Life as we had known was stripped down, and in many ways, we became the best version of ourselves.
The whole perception of reality was surreal. Colors became very important. Red meant severe. Orange high. Elevated yellow. Guarded blue, and Green meant low.
On the night of September 11, 2001, I was a student at the University of Dallas. The first words out of my professor's mouth were, you can throw away your Leadership Books, because everything that has been written about Leadership no long exists. We are in unchartered territories and we can no longer rely on our government for leadership. From this day forward, everyone has to think critically, become self-sufficient, keep your eyes and ears open, take responsibility, don't believe anything you read on the Internet, and never forget what 9/11 means.
Sadly, I think he was absolutely right but still, we pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps and moved on. Students graduated. Babies were born. People got married. Many went off to war. We buried the dead. Enjoyed sunrise and sunset. People traveled for business and pleasure. People lost jobs. Many homes went into foreclosures. New jobs were created. Many people relocated and life moved on. Seniors are still affectionately known as Baby Boomers and babies born after the pandemic are now referred to COVID Babies. Gradually, we all transformed. Now it's time to do what the Professor said, keep your eyes and ears open for change and have courage. We may suffer but we shall never succumb---Patricia Feager