Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Reflection: How 9/11 Changed Me

Every year, around 9/11, I check in on Rosemary A. Smith's story. She is the victim from the World Trade Center attacks whose story changed me most. I have mentioned her before.

This year, I found silhouettes of victims. This is Rosemary's.The photostream below is by Flickr User Becca, who holds all rights to the work shared below.

 


On Sept. 8, 2001, my husband Tom and I attended a wedding outside Boston. Members of the wedding party later described having to run from the smoke coming from the 9/11 attacks.

On 9/9, we flew home and Tom pointed out the World Trade Center twin towers. I think we were in an airport shuttle. It was the only thing he pointed out from the NYC skyline during our ride. I remember looking at the towers and longing for the city. We had moved from Boston to Fort Worth several years before, and I think we both missed living and working in Boston. I looked at the towers until I couldn't see them anymore.

We were all changed on 9/11, but the story that influenced me most is the story of Rosemary A. Smith. Rosemary worked for Sidley, Austin, Brown, and Wood, a law firm in Tower One. I'm not sure if it's the law firm connection or that she wanted to open her own business.

But the connection does not really matter. I draw strength from her story because she also was working in the World Trade Center during the 1993 bombing.

After that bombing, Rosemary did what I might have found impossible: when her company reopened, she walked back into the World Trade Center and went back to work.






At age 61, she still had dreams. She was a chocolatier and wanted to open her own candy store.
I think of Rosemary when I get on a plane. She had the strength to go back to work.

Whenever I need strength, I think of Rosemary walking back into that building in 1993. I think of her still following her dreams. If she could do that, I can find strength when I need it most. Rosemary's story made me stronger.

Do you have a story that makes you stronger?

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