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Eliters Story
9/11 - Have you Forgotten? Prepared by: DMDesiderata
September 1, 2009 Newsletter - Interviews - What's Up Eliters!

It's been eight years since the attacks of September 11, 2001. Yet I haven't forgotten that tragic day. I'm sure there are many Eliters who were affected by the tragic events of that day. I'd like to share my personal story.
I was only two blocks away from the World Trade Center on the day and time it was attacked. By now we have all seen lots of news coverage and photos. We all have watched or listened to many of the tribute songs written and song by many artists in support of the heroes. We all are thankful to the many firefighters, police officers, EMS workers, rescue workers, for all that they did to help those in need and to find anyone that was still alive. There can be no doubt that these men and women were indeed heroes and deserve the honor and tribute they received and more.
But my personal story is about the unsung heroes, the ones who were just civilians who also risked their lives without giving it a second thought, to help others. There were many that didn't have to help, but did. As someone who was only two blocks away, that is what I will always remember and will never forget. I kept thinking about these unsung heroes that were ready and willing to help people they didn't even know. That day, no one was thinking about the color of one's skin, their religious preference, how tall or short they were, if they were handicapped or not. On that day, we were ALL Americans. We became united together and showed the terrorists that America will not be defeated. We will stand strong and defend our freedoms. Yes, this is what I will always remember and will never forget.
The tragic events of 9/11 occurred not even two months after a tragic event in my life for my mother and me.   The events of 9/11 were far more tragic than my own personal experience, yet, so many families realized just how short life can be and they became closer because of it. I wondered why that was not true in my family.
So in September 2001, I was now dealing with two very traumatic events... my family situation as well as the World Trade Center attacks, and I wasn't coping very well. I cried and cried and cried each time I saw it on the news or watched the tributes on TV.  I believe the main thing that helped me to finally cope with my trauma was remembering the many unsung heroes risk their lives to help people they didn't know.
In January 2001, I submitted an application to be a United States Delegate for Education. In April 2001, I was notified that I was selected to be one of 25 United States Delegates for Education and that I would be sent to a prestigious international conference on the teaching and learning of Algebra that was to be held in December 2001. Obviously it was a real honor to be selected and something I would have wanted my entire family to be able to celebrate. I can recall how hard it was for me to make this trip as I was still trying to cope with two very traumatic events. My Mom was the one the kept me on the right track and did everything she could to help me to accomplish this trip. My Mom is among those unsung heroes. I am so thankful to her for her support, more than words could ever express. I had a great time in Australia. I took lots of photos. I will never forget my visit to Australia, and I would consider it a life changing event.
All of this happened in just one year.
If I've learned anything from these events, it is that Freedom is NOT free; it comes with a price, and that People, NOT money or things, are what matters most. Live each day as if it were your last, because it might just be your last day. Be sure to thank the unsung heroes in your life (believe me there are many) and to tell those you love that you do love them. You may think they know you love them, but they also need to hear it as well. Don't just say "I love you" but make sure you mean it and make sure you show it in your actions. I am so thankful to my Eliters family for your support and friendship. You are also among the unsung heroes in my life and I am so blessed to have you among my extended family. Have a great day Eliters. You all rock!

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