This morning, on September 11, many of us reflect. I think about where I was 11 years ago today when the first plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m. This morning, I rode a creaky subway to work, my thoughts consuming me. As I meandered my way through the humid tunnels and up toward a buzzing Times Square, I passed six middle-aged men wearing Army uniforms. I emerged onto the street, my cheeks graced by the cool hints of fall, picked up my iPhone, and called someone that matters very much to me.
We dated for almost three years. During that time, he spent ten months or so in Afghanistan. A staff sergeant in the Army, it was his second tour there. Because of what happened this day 11 years ago, this amazing man I feel fortunate to know, his life, the lives of his friends and family, and so many of his peers, will forever be changed.
The phone rang three times, and then he answered. "Thank you for your service," I said.