Although 3 years have past, I promised myself long ago that if the opportunity presented itself, I would go New York City to honor and pay my respects to all who perished in the September 11, 2001 attack. This was an experience I had looked forward to with some trepidation because I wasn't sure how to prepare for this. Even so, I knew I had to go.

As I exited the subway and started to walk towards the stairs to street level, the pit of my stomach was churning. I felt an overwhelming sense of grief. This feeling was so strong I didn't know what to do with it, other than to feel the feeling and wait until it passed.

Approaching the site of the destruction, there were plaques with the names of those who had perished. My heart hurt and I silently prayed that they would rest peacefully and that I would never forget their sacrifice.

As I rounded the corner, there was Ladder Company 10. I lost it. To see the faces behind the big doors was more than I could handle. They had experienced so much heartache and pain yet there they were doing their jobs. Believe me, it made me feel small and ashamed of any whining I have done in my life.

I have reflected on this trip many times over the last week. What lessons did I need to learn from this experience? I'm not sure but I think it is to be more grateful and thankful on a daily basis and to never forget what true sacrifice, courage and bravery look like.

Marlene Blaszczyk
Publisher - Motivating Moments