Friday, January 27, 2012


My Girl Scout Troop leading Rudy Giuliani in NYC parade

Rudy Giuliani, UF Accent Program, 1.26.12

Whenever I think of Rudy Giuliani two things come to mind- the day my Girl Scout Troop lead him in a New York City parade, and September 11, 2001.

When the towers fell, I was in my 8th grade classroom at M.S.172 in Queens.

I probably couldn't tell you if Giuliani was a Democrat or a Republican.

It didn't matter.

I was too busy processing what happened.

Trying to wrap my mind around the gravity of the situation- my classmates were crying-- many were lining up to use the telephone to call their parents who worked in the towers.

Everybody knew somebody who was there.

I'm not sure how many days later- or if it was the following day, but I was watching the news in the living room of our "Archie Bunker" Bellerose house when I heard my neighbors voice from the kitchen..."Moira is missing."

Moira Smith was the only female NYPD officer killed on September 11th.

Here she's helping Edward Nicholls before returning to the towers to help others.

This picture is the definition of heroism.

It takes me back to a summer afternoon, sitting on my neighbor's stoop.

I was just a kid... telling Moira my love for writing and dreams of becoming a news reporter.

I remember her saying I could do anything.

My best friend Giulia, (the girl waving her right hand at the camera) was killed crossing the street when we were 15.

We'd all live to see September 11.

I'm reminded of a verse, Hebrews 13:2:

"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing some have unwittingly entertained angels."

We never know what obstacles we'll face, or what's written in the stars for those we stand beside.

All we can do is live, and learn from everyone-- embracing those opportunities God gives us; whether it's shaking hands with the mayor or a conversation on the stoop with the cop next door.

You never know how those moments will shape your life-- those moments where the only picture you have to remember it all, is the one you keep in your heart.

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