Remembering September 11

Note: the above pictures were taken during a family vacation in 2005. Even four years later, as soon as you walk around the corner and see this site of so much devastation and loss...your heart just drops.

I must extend my sympathy to the families of 9/11 that had to relive that tragic day for the seventh year in a row.

There is no doubt in my mind that they relive that day everyday - every time each of those mothers look into the eyes of their baby's that never got to meet their father, every time that the fathers who lost their wife wonder if they're doing things the way it was before, and every time the skyline of New York is shown in a movie or tv series.

But, every year the whole country comes together for a moment of silence, and a day of remembrance. All at once the whole country remembers that loved one - and thousands of others. We all grieve together for a day, hoping to bring comfort and faith to those that grieve everyday.

I have seen a lot of photo stories based around the war since 2002, and I have seen a lot of remarkable and amazing photographs and video taken overseas, and about our soldiers when they come back home. I commend those amazing photographers who were able to risk their lives, to take a picture that will help make it all worth it. That will make everyone else around the world see what's really going on - and to honor those soldiers.

One of my favorite and definitely most memorable assignments was covering troop 3/25 that came home . It was one of the most amazing days of my life, let alone my career. This Ohio troop who made headlines across the country lost 16 soldiers. When the rest of the troop came home - including one remarkable soldier whose brother was one of the 16 who died - it was truly an amazing and very emotional event.

Note: The photographs above were taken by Melissa Gaug and are copy written.

I could only hope that the images I took that day will stay on the refrigerators of those families, for them to look at when their soldier has to go back to war. I hope they were a reminder to everyone that saw them, of how quickly life can change - of how bad and how good it can be.

Take the middle picture for instance, in that picture it shows how good and bad life can be. The woman lost her husband in Iraq; yet he left her a beautiful son, who at only a year old knows how special those army tags are that he grabs onto around his mother's neck. The good also comes in the form of her brother-in-law coming home, from the same troop as her husband, alive and physically well.

Many fathers held their babies for the very first time, such as in the first photograph. Seeing that moment with my own eyes - it's impossible to not want to put them in a bubble and keep them both safe from any future harm, just to preserve that precious moment forever.

This is just an example of what those images taken on 9/11 showed. They were images of how bad life can be. However, when I see the images now of firefighters posing for a picture with their family, seven years later, telling the story of how they survived, and how they saved the lives of others in the process - I am also reminded of how good life can be.

Here is an amazing video from "The Jon Stewart Show" from 9/11:


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