Driving to Maine to cover surgery this weekend, I sat transfixed in the car, listening to stories of our September 11 tragedy, of the countless first responders and other citizens who gave their lives to help their fellow men and women survive.
I stayed transfixed in front of the TV set where I was staying when I was not seeing patients, learning about the families coping without their loved ones. I saw a program about the health effects of the dust at the ground zero site and the number of responders who now struggle to breathe.
I wrote a letter to an MBA-school classmate whose brother perished 10 years ago in the World Trade Center attack, saying that the heroes were not only those who lost their lives, but also the families and friends who moved forward one footstep at a time to rebuild their lives.
I think about the former stockbroker who is now a banker and carries his World Trade Center ID with him, so that every time he begins to feel sorry for himself, he can remind himself of the thousands of people who would give anything to have his “problems.”
As I spoke with others about their reactions to what they experienced over the weekend, I believe that we put aside our differences and came together as a proud, mature nation. It gives me hope.