Why do we have to wait for a specific day of the year to thank the people who risked their lives in service to our nation?
Friday was the 14th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. It had everyone thinking back on that day, where they were, and what it means to them. I had the opportunity on the job to hear many of those stories — and to recall my own.
I was in fifth grade at Liberty Elementary School in North Ridgeville.
I remember everyone had just arrived at school. The announcements were coming over the public address system and then it got silent. Teachers were told to turn on the televisions in their classrooms.
We sat there and watched smoke fill the sky as the second plane crashed into the World Trade Center.
You could hear people screaming, sirens blaring, and see people jumping from the towers.
It was complete chaos.
I was only 10 years old when this tragedy struck our nation.
We have all seen pictures and videos of fighting in far-off lands. We have all learned about wars and terrorist attacks around the world.
To me, 9/11 dwarfs them all because it is an event that happened during my life and on my home soil.
There were events held throughout Lorain County on Friday to remember the lives lost and saved, and to thank the police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and the military personnel serving our country.
I agree it’s important to remember this day as well as Independence Day, the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and our other national holidays.
However, it’s wrong that our nation needs a holiday to thank the people who have and are serving our country and protecting us every single day. I believe you should be thankful every single day for the men and women that have chosen these dangerous careers.
Would you be able to run into a burning building like a firefighter does to save a victim stuck inside? Or be part of the military where people are shooting at you or dropping bombs on your base? Or be an EMT or an officer at a crash where someone has been thrown from a vehicle? Or at the scene of a shooting?
I know whether I couldn’t do any of those jobs.
These individuals risk their lives to save others and to me that’s amazing.
Our veterans especially deserve a huge thank you for everything they have done to keep us safe. Many of those heroes have seen things and been a part of wars we couldn’t imagine.
I have family members who have served and are serving our country today. I cherish their bravery.
My grandfather, William Urbanik, was in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1948-1952 as a sergeant. He used to talk to me before passing in 2012 about his time overseas as a mechanic working on planes. The days he would share these stories with me were some of the best days because my grandfather rarely talked about those four years of his life.
If you know a veteran, I encourage you to talk to them about their time serving. They do not always want to talk about the things they have seen. But when they do, it will amaze you.
And remember to thank the individuals who have and are risking their lives to keep us safe no matter what day it is of the year.