Friendship From The Ashes

Towers of light

Tomorrow is Patriot Day.  That’s code language for 9/11/01.  What does Patriot Day have to do with relationships? The terrorist attacks in 2001 brought a lot of negatives but also some positives.  For starters, it brought Americans together, at least for a time.  This was especially true in New York City.  When the towers went down, New Yorkers came together.  People went out of their way to accommodate others, at least by New York standards.

I met a friend for life in New York following 9/11.  I was one of the 90,000 volunteers who responded to the tragedy.  As a law enforcement chaplain I worked in the precincts and fire houses bringing some encouragement to the public safety officers and their families.  One night, after visiting the 9-1-1 center in Brooklyn, we crossed the street and headed toward the headquarters of the FDNY.  We encountered an NYPD officer who was guarding the building.  After identifying ourselves the officer opened up and we had a great conversation.  He invited us in to view the memorial wall inside.  We exchanged phone numbers and ever since, Arnie and I have been friends.  We stay in touch on a regular basis.  Since that time their family has vacationed with us in Oregon and we have done the same in New York.

Friendships are forged via a shared experiences.  In this case it was around 9/11.  Other situations can be a job, participating in a team sport, church, etc.

I hope you’ll take time today to recount how your friendships came to be.  Thank the Lord for those friendships.

A great way to commemorate Patriot Day would be to call some of those friends and thank them for your relationship and the shared experience, whether good or bad, that brought you together.

PS I wrote a book about my experience.  You will see the ad it the sidebar for SENT TO SERVE…THE CHAPLAINS OF 9/11.

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