Everything changed that day. Not just one thing. Everything. The New York City skyline changed. The way people flew changed. The way people did business changed. The way New York City emergency crews worked changed. Federal shit changed too. Everything changed.
Not just material things changed either. People's whole lives changed. Families were broken apart. Not just from death but marriages broke apart after that because of the strain of the situation they were in because of the attacks.
My life changed. From that day on, I never flew in another plane. Shit, I still freak out every time I even hear a plane overhead. I'll never forget that day. Every time I hear a plane, I am flown back in time to what they are now calling Ground Zero, and I see the second plane crash into the second tower. I see my Bella and I falling 68 stories to the ground. I see the light go out of her gorgeous brown eyes. I'll never forget.
After the funeral, it was hard but I finally was able to say goodbye to Bella. I remember standing by her fresh grave soon after. I remember the feeling of dread and fear in the pit of my stomach. I remember reading the tombstone. Her parents had put the best saying on it. It said "Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand." It brought tears to my eyes thinking about it.
Ten years after Bella died, her parents have still stayed true to their word. They still consider me a part of their family. I still go to their house for holidays. I even take my new girlfriend.
It took me five years but I was finally able to move on. I met a new girl, Rachel, at a bar one night. She looked so much like Bella it was scary. In fact, when I first met her, the only real reason why I talked to her was because she reminded me so much of Bells.
It took me a short while but I started to see differences between them. Rachel… well she doesn't like working on cars and she doesn't like the Yankees. But she's a wonderful woman.
Rachel doesn't mind that I still have pictures of Bella all around our house. She doesn't mind that on September 11 of every year, I go to Bella's grave and I sit there with her all day long and just talk. I bring her flowers every year on our anniversary. It's just hard knowing that our anniversary is the same day she died.
Rachel has put up with a lot. I guess that's one reason why I married her. We married February 15, 2007. It was a nice ceremony. I can't help but chuckle remembering all the stupid antics of my fire brothers at the reception. Word of advice: never give a firehouse full of guys too much beer on the day their brother gets married. It gets crazy.
I wrote this memorial of 9-11 so people can understand that, though the surviving victims may be able to smile today, there was a very dark time in our lives where that would never have been possible. Hell, I never thought I would ever find happiness again. But I did.
I wrote this for Bella so that people will remember her. So people who weren't a part, people who didn't have a personal connection to 9-11, can know at least one person who died that day. Then maybe they can understand those who still live on a little better.
I wrote this to those mother fuckers who took her life. May you die slowly and rot in the darkest, worst corner of hell available.
For those of you who, after 10 years, have forgotten what happened, I wrote this to you. We should never forget. We need to always remember what happened that day. We need to remember what happens to our countrymen and women when we let our guard down.
That day, almost 3,000 people died. 19 of them being hijackers. Most of the people in Bella's office made it out safely. Thanks to Bells. I couldn't help but feel pride in her for that. Her death meant people she loved got to live.
The thing that bothered me the most; well, other than Bella dying that day; was that New York City and the Trade Towers weren't the only things hit that day. The Pentagon was hit too. And some believe that the White House would have been if a group of heroes hadn't been aboard a fourth plane. That plane, United 93, was filled with heroes that day. They actually killed the hijackers and downed the plane, so that it was only their deaths those cowards caused and not any others.
Remember them. Remember all those that day that day. Not just on September 11th. But every day. Their lives shouldn't end in vain. Their lives should mean something.
There was a poem that Bella loved to quote all the time. It's by Emily Dickinson. It's called "Not in Vain".
If I can stop one heart from breaking,I shall not live in vain:If I can ease one life the aching,Or cool one pain,Or help one fainting robinUnto his nest again,I shall not live in vain.
Those that died should not die in vain. Help to make their lives mean something. Make their deaths worth it. Remember them.