Waking up Tuesday morning, the day of my 30th birthday, I anticipated a much different day than what followed. I received a message at 7:00 am to turn on the news, and when I did, it changed my life forever. As I sat on the end of my bed half dressed for work, I witnessed in shock and disbelief as two powerful symbols of American commerce, The World Trade Center towers, were destroyed. It just seemed impossible as I watched the footage repeat over and over again. Even though I live 3000 miles away from lower Manhattan, I felt like I was right there with the people of New York. I felt pain, sadness, and tremendous loss. There are so many people to worry about. This tragedy affects everyone in our nation. We are all somehow connected even closer through this disaster, as friends, as family and as citizens of this country.

I spent the entire day following the news, trying to keep positive, hoping and praying for the destruction to stop and for people to be rescued. I continue to wish for strength to the families and friends that were affected and of course to the victims themselves. It's still hard to fathom. All of my life I have felt a certain kind of security being an American, and yesterday for the first time I felt vulnerable.

Today, everything seems changed. Before us is a long journey of hardship and grief. I am learning to accept that what seemed normal before will never be normal again. As we slowly move forward I don't think we will ever forget September 11, 2001.

Source: Rob Goldklang (