I had been married ten days prior. We flew to Negril for our honeymoon. We were staying at an elegant resort occupied by citizens from all over the world. We were one of very few Americans there at the time. The days had the same loose routine... Breakfast by the pool, drinks by the ocean, lunch, nap, swim, etc. That Tuesday morning began much the same. We awoke full of excitement and optimism. We settled in for breakfast on the patio. A few moments after beginning breakfast, a young Italian couple approached and asked "Are you American?" I replied, "Yes, we are." And with a look of terror on their face the said "New York and Washington D.C. are being bombed! I'm so sorry to tell you. " We ran back to our room and watched the events unfold. We were scared, being away from home and wanting to be close to our families. However, I simply cannot imagine the loss and sacrifice of the ones who were directly impacted by that day. September 11, 2001 changed the world. It left me a different man. Some of that optimism was extinguished. It is an event that still resonates sadness in me to this day. My father was a firefighter, so I understood the brotherhood of those brave men and women who lost their lives trying to help. I salute them, and honor everyone who perished or suffered as a result of the attacks. I will never forget them.
As I began to take a sip from my glass of water, I counted my blessings. Never take anything in this life for granted, not even something as simple and as pure as the water you drink. You never know when you won't have that luxury ever again.
Gaby (story excerpt)