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Ground Zero Chronicles: The Bell Will Ring

In the next five days, something really important is happening - a time for reflection and remembrance. It's a reminder, not just for me, but for all of us who served and now deal with the health issues that came with that service. To be honest, I can't help but think about the brave souls who made the ultimate sacrifice on that tragic day, innocently caught up in the chaos, and the heroic efforts to save lives before it all went downhill.

Over at the newly built 9/11 memorial, a bell is going to ring. And all of us who still feel the impact of that day will be there, reading out the names of all those who gave themselves for the world to see. This event shadows my thoughts, and we should all appreciate this reminder of how quickly things can go south, leaving us with hurt, anger, and sadness that families and loved ones have to endure on this day. Every time that bell rings, it's like a punch in the gut, reminding us of the pain.

Every year, I tell myself not to watch the remembrance ceremonies, but I always end up tuning in out of respect. But, midway through, my PTSD tends to get the best of me, and like clockwork, I have to take a moment to gather my emotions just to cope with what I went through. There's a lot of pent-up anger, mostly about the lasting effects on my health, but I consider myself lucky compared to those the symbolic bell tolls for.

I'm asking all of you, whether it's just a handful or many, who take a moment to read my blog, to remember in silence. Learn the truth about the innocence of all those who lost their lives and the small helping hands like me who still live in fear of our daily illnesses, as a reminder that even though 22 years have passed, this event still plays a big role in our lives and history. Thanks for your support, everyone.

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