I went to an incredibly touching 10-year Anniversary Ceremony of September 11 with many of the fire/police/ems employees in the State of Minnesota this afternoon. I couldn't keep it together when I saw the photos of the firefighters' funerals, or the mournful sound of Amazing Grace on the bagpipes.
An awful lot of Americans lost their lives that day. An awful lot of friends and relatives of those victims are still grieving.
And I suppose it's because of my position in life, but I can't stop thinking about those wives. Those children, who are growing up without their fathers because they ran into a collapsing highrise to save others.
Think of that love. That selflessness. It takes my breath away.
I was sitting by friends of ours, who are relatively new parents. I was thinking about how much Matt loves his daughter and how I know he wouldn't hesistate to lay his life down for her. Those 343 firefighters were men like Matt. They were fathers, and husbands. Good, kind, honest men. And in a devastating moment, they made a decision to put others, strangers, in front of their daughters, their families, because they took an oath to do so, and these are men of deep honor. But now those children, and those wives are living without those men.
So, on this day, I stand in solidarity with those women. Because my pain is no worse than another's, but my empathy for them runs deep. And no matter how proud they are of their firefighters, they must miss them something desperate.
My most sincere prayer is that none of the men and women I was surrounded with today know that agony. That none of them ever have to give everything for their profession, even though they are prepared to do so. That my husband always keeps the promise he made me: to always come home. I remain in deep love, and in admiration of each of them -- and thank them for everything they do.
Happy Heroes Day.