Today is a day that we will always remember – 9/11. This morning I’ve heard so many people say that it is my generation’s Pearl Harbor. We pause to remember the victims, and to honor the fallen heroes.
I always have a chill that runs up my spine when I think about the tragedy. My oldest daughter was 7 years old and I took her to NYC for the very first time. We were there just two weeks to the day before the attacks - looking at the Twin Towers from the Empire State Building. She looked at me and said “those are the coolest buildings that look exactly alike.” We then made our trek around NYC and stood at the base of those cool buildings. We watched all the hustle and bustle of people going about their day.
Though it was hard for a 7-year-old to wrap her head around the magnitude of the incident, my daughter cried the day of the attacks. We as a nation cried that day.
It is common to hear someone ask “Where were you when the towers were hit?” I remember vividly what I was doing. Oddly enough I had an entire TV crew outside of my home. They were doing a story on one of my cancer projects. I was poised and set to talk about statistics and risk factors. As I was having the mic pack strategically hidden, a camera man came running from the van asking me to turn on my TV. He was horrified as he said, “some asshole just flew a plane into the World Trade Center!”
We all flew into my living room to see the live coverage – me and a remote news team. As we watched the breaking news, the second plane flew into the other tower. We all stood still and knew then it was no accident.I think about all the lives that were lost in those moments. The people who watched in horror knowing their loved ones were there simply going to work.
Last August I was fortunate to be a part of the LIVESTRONG Summit in Columbus, Ohio. I know the cancer statistics and I can spout them off easily. When I heard Lance Armstrong say we lose the same amount of people every two days as we did on 9/11 the comparison shook me. 1,500 people will die today from cancer…another 1,500 tomorrow…and the next day. It still shakes me to look at a cancer statistic it in those terms. In posting this I am not trying to minimize the tragedy that occurred eight years ago today. I just hope the statistic shakes you as much as it continues to shake me. Every two days we lose so many people to another type of terror. Cancer.