9/11six years later

Mike Gallagher

9/11/2007 11:53:27 AM - Mike Gallagher

My wife had a worried expression on her face this morning as I was leaving for work.  "I'm really sad that I think i'm starting to forget how 9/11 felt", she said.  She went on to express a deep concern that like many Americans, she perhaps is starting to forget the anguish, the pain, the heartache, and even the anger of that awful, sunny September morning in New York and Pennsylvania.

I was in the Empire State Building in midtown-Manhattan at 9:00am that day.  As the world as we knew it came crashing down, we tried to stay on the air, stupidly worried more about a radio show than our families.  Our wives and kids only wanted us to come home, which we eventually did.

The town I lived in, an idyllic, beautiful community on Long Island's north shore, lost 63 people that day.  To this day, Manhasset residents cringe at remembering what we went through.

And yet, my wife is right.  There is a sense of forgetting, of allowing time to numb the pain and grief.  I suppose a degree of that is invevitable.

But as thousands of American families wait for their loved ones to return from the battle, we simply must never forget why we fight.

We fight to seek justice for those who perished on 9/11.  We fight to stamp out terrorists who want nothing more than a lifetime of 9/11's inflicted upon Americans.  We fight because it's the right thing to do.

On the wall of the study in my house is a framed newspaper photograph of my son Micah and his then-girlfriend.  The local community newspaper featured a story of a candlelight vigil that was held in the city park a few days after 9/11.  The photo showed our son and his girlfriend at that vigil, holding candles and American flags.

The look on my son's face in that photo  is one that will haunt me forever.  This cheerful, happy-go-lucky kid, who was 17 years old at the time, was changed forever.  His face is shown full of sorrow and agony, anger at what they did to us, grief over his friend's fathers who were killed.

May we never forget that loss of innocence that our children and our nation suffered that day six years ago.

And may we never lose the will or courage to fight back.