The Day the World Changed

September 11, 2011 – MJ Wixsom, DVM MS

A Single solitary moment in time. One hundred and two minutes overall, but focused on a single solitary

moment. There are moments in time which change all of humankind.  Sometimes these are for the good, sometimes not.  Sometimes we know that they are life changing at the time, sometimes we do not.

There is a 36-lecture course (www.thegreatcourses.com) that teaches about these moments, it is called The World Was Never the Same. The course states that to be such an event three things must happen: the event in itself fundamentally changed history; the aftermath of the event changed history; and the event and its impact still resonate with us today.

The trial of Jesus, the landing of Christopher Columbus and the falling of the world trade centers all changed history and the impacts are still resonating today.

Afterward, there were shocks of silence felt worldwide.  In the days after the attacks on the trade centers, the Pentagon and flight 93, we sat in front of the TV seeing the images again and again until they were ingrained in our brains.  The days at work were almost spent in a zombie state.  We were doing our jobs, but not really sure what was to be next.  The silence settled as no more live victims were to be found at ground zero.  Tireless teams of dogs and their handlers searched, but the silence  was oppressive. Of the 95 dogs that searched, 13 are still alive today.  I think the dogs felt the silence, too.

There were four hijacked planes.  Two headed to the world trade centers, one to the pentagon and the fourth was headed to the Capital or White House.  That day, there were a total of 2,996 deaths, including the 19 hijackers and 2,977 victims. Thoughts everywhere  were for those who left home that day to never return. Almost everyone knew someone who died that day or at least knew someone who knew someone personally. For me, it was a young Army Captain who went on to put in  25 years and die  at the Pentagon that day.

But we are Americans, we are not broken, we pick up, we continue, we wish and dream.  In the years since we have learned to put things in perspective.  We have changed, we will never be the trusting people that we once were.  But I believe in the American people, I think we will overcome.  Indeed, this is the reason that I purchased a big building and took the financial risk.  I believe that the people of the United States will fix the things that need to be and rise above the current financial problems. Personally, I now take a stronger lead in volunteer activities.  Where before,  I would not have spent the time, I now will step up, because I know I can and therefore feel that I should.

And the decency of the world showed in those days. Strangers  helped others get out of the trade centers.  People gave water to others on the street, just because there was need. .  Later that day, the whole world stopped to pray. Around the world, people flocked to embassies to lay wreaths, cards, flowers and other offerings.  I do not believe quite the way of others and believe strongly that all should be free to believe and practice their religions as they feel they should (not hurting others of course), but on those days, it seemed that everyone came together to lift up their spirits together.

At the tenth anniversary, we added a new print to the waiting room.  It is a search and rescue team from 9-11. The print shows the actual paw print of Aspen, one of the world’s most decorated search dogs. Aspen died in 2005.

A moment of silence for those who wish to pray.