Chillicothe VA Medical Center
Annual 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony
I had the opportunity to hear the first-hand accounts of where people were when the twin towers were attacked so many years ago during the Annual 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at the Chillicothe VA Medical Center. The September 11 attacks re-shaped all of us. Many of my co-workers here at the Chillicothe VA are Veterans. To listen to their experiences and how they changed the course of their lives is a sobering reminder of just how fragile the ideal of freedom is and what it takes to protect it.
You realize very quickly that these memories are fresh for eveyone. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to understand the emotions if you weren’t there. I can remember the feeling of vulnerability. I didn’t feel safe anymore. My family got together that evening and ate together, we just felt the need to be close. As the days and weeks went on, I can also remember being on edge. Anytime there was an “incident” on the news I though it was the next attack. The national security threat levels became normal to see displayed on the TV. We had been changed.
But through it all, the events following 9/11 displayed the ability of this nation to come together for the collective good and stand together. That’s what I took away the most from listening to our speakers during the ceremony. I remember something our Fire Chief and Army Veteran said during his recount of his military experiences as a response to the terror attacks. It was a very simple sentence, but it captures the idea that sticks with me. “Keep moving forward.”