Thursday Re-View — Americans All

[9/11 Memorial Museum Dedication Week]

She was beautiful.

Dressed in a fashionable ensemble, a dusty rose hijab with black piping covering her hair, she stood hesitant, alone, lost.

I asked how I could help. Her voice quiet, reserved, she told me her son was not quite 19 years old when he was called to the towers on 9/11 as a first responder.

No, this 18-year-old young man did not die that day, at least not in the physical sense. Instead, what he saw that day brought him to a place for the living dead – into the world of addiction. Her son was living and breathing, but for 8 long years, they lost him to the downward spiral that was the world of drugs.

But they never gave up on him.

And now he was on his feet, clean and sober, struggling to view the world with clear and steady eyes. He wasn’t yet ready to view the reality of the museum, so his mother was here in his stead.

If only we could offer easy answers for his difficult questions, but we are not foolish in the aftermath.

She grabbed both of my hands and clutched them tightly.

“You can probably tell I’m Muslim. I almost didn’t come today because I didn’t know how I would be received. I didn’t know if I would be accepted.”

My heart broke.

“We are all Americans here,” I answered softly, squeezing her hand in reassurance. “We’re different, but yet we’re all the same.”

After all, those we lost on 9/11 represented more than 90 countries. And she, in a way, lost her son for 8 long years, but at least got him back.

Three thousand other families could not say the same.

Muslim? Christian? Hindu? Buddhist? Agnostic? Atheist? Something else?

It didn’t matter.

It doesn’t matter.

We all lost some one, some thing, a part of ourselves that day. Let us stand united.

Hate solves nothing, while love and peace benefit all.

We are One.

9 11 wall


Thursday Re-View — In Memoriam

[ 9/11 Memorial Museum – In Memoriam Exhibit ]

[please see: Collage of the Heart]

He stood alone in his dress FDNY uniform, ribbons aligned perfectly, shoes buffed to a patent leather shine, gloves snowy white.

He walked up to a specific one of the 2,983 pictures on the Wall of Faces, gently placed his gloved hand flat on the portrait, lowered his head, and stood motionless for a full minute.

His prayer done, he moved to another FDNY face in another photograph in another row, placed his gloved hand flat on the portrait, lowered his head, and stood motionless for a full minute.

And then he did it again for another of his FDNY brothers.

And again.

And again.

I lost count. But he didn’t.

He performed the same homage over and over, honoring each of his many fallen comrades.

Too many lost. Gone too soon. Too much heartache.

At last he reached his Captain. He placed his gloved hand flat on the portrait, lowered his head, and stood motionless for a full minute. Then he smartly saluted his superior, his hand steady and strong.

And the tears flowed…



Monday Meeting — College Kindness

A college professor offered to watch his student’s children while she was taking her finals after her babysitter cancelled at the last minute, and the photo of the babysitting professor is going viral.


Daniel Krebs, a professor at the University of Louisville, was photographed playing computer games in the hallway outside of his classroom with Monica Willard’s 4-year-old son, Marcus, and 5-year-old daughter, Mikayla.

Willard told ABC News she tried to get her kids to sit quietly on the couch before Dr. Krebs intervened.

“The class didn’t know they were there until Marcus came banging on the door,” Willard said. “Dr. Krebs said, ‘Don’t worry. Go take your test. I’ve got them.'”

“The little boy knew the names of the [Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles] and he’s yelling out these Italian names,” Krebs said. “I didn’t know who he was talking about. And the girl climbed on my shoulders and pulled my hair. But, apparently, I was so distracted that I didn’t know people were taking photos of me.”

After Willard stepped out of the classroom to check on her kids, she asked her friend and fellow exam-taker Victoria Henry to snap the shot since her kids commandeered her phone.

Henry told ABC News she couldn’t resist posting the “kind act” online.

Willard said her kids are now big fans of Dr. Krebs.

“They didn’t want to leave. They really just had a lot of fun. They want to come back to class with me.”

ABC News