My Prayers Go Out

Dear Angels-Online,
These past few weeks have been very hard on my family. My father is a NYC firefighter and 2 of my uncles worked in the towers and were at Trade Center on September 11th. Unfortunately, one of my uncles never came out that day.

Even though my family had the loss of a loved one, we feel very lucky that my father and his brother are still with us. I'll first tell you my uncles story, which is a true miracle we were blessed with:
The week before September 11th was my grandpa's birthday. My aunt had flown up from Florida to partake in the family event. On September 11th she was supposed to fly back home, so my uncle volunteered to bring her to the airport. When they got to the airport, she insisted on him letting her off at the curb, but he felt, (being the guarding, older brother), that he should walk her in. So he did, and it took him longer then he expected.

As he got into the city, he was walking into his the World Trade Center when a huge bang shook the entire building. He took no chances because he was familiar with this stuff. (He had been in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 and in Vietnam.) So he ran right out of the building grabbing a couple people that were standing around to come with him.

They ran across the street and dove under a mail truck. As time passed, about 15 other people slid themselves under that mail truck on top of them and they waited there for a couple of hours. Finally, after everything was over, they came out into the gray, dirty atmosphere to find there beloved towers missing, gone forever.

My uncle was very lucky that day. All his co-workers, however, were not. This event has affected him tremedously, and he even said that it was worse than Vietnam. I know my dad can understand his feelings.

My dad was working in Manhattan on the 11th and this tragedy has emotionally scarred him for life. Many of his close friends are gone, without time to say goodbye. People who were in my parents wedding are now dead. I feel so blessed that my dad was able to come home after that incident, but in some ways, my dad does not agree. He feels guilty that he is still alive and his friends are not. He doesn't really like me to see how he feels, but the day he came home from the city I saw him and my mom hugging in their room and I watched as a tear slowly rolled down the side of his face. That had the biggest impact on me. I never, ever saw my dad cry before and the only time my mom had seen him cry was after his own mother's death. This made my heart ache in a way I never felt before. I can't describe it, but all I can say is that I never thought much about my dad's job. I knew what he did, but I never understood that any day his life can be the one taken. I never appreciated what he did for so many and what he risks everyday and I don't know what I would do if he lost his life.

Before the 11th I hardly ever prayed, but after this rude wake-up call hit me, I find myself praying a couple times a day. I am lucky that I've had this call and realize what I could have lost, but so many others did not have a 2nd chance to appreciate their loved ones. My prayers go out to all those who did lose someone on September 11th, I pray for my cousin who lost his father, I pray for my uncle, so that he will get over the loss of his friends, I pray that my father will overcome this emotional event because he has not been the same ever since, I pray for all the firefighters, police officers, and rescue workers, I pray for the troops who are fighting this war as we speak, and I pray for all those families who lost a loved one because of someone's hatred.

Thank you and God Bless America!

Sincerely yours, "Mal"