Nicholas Makarenko

I am a New Yorker and my family will never forget what happened that day. My son was only 6 months old and had been sick and unable to eat for days. After 3 days in hospitals and seeing my baby deteriorate we got the good news that all he needed was a simple surgery to restore his intestinal blockage. My son was transferred to Colombia Presbyterian hospital in Manhattan around 12:30 AM on 9/11/01. My wife and I we so tired from the sleepless nights that we feel asleep on the floor outside the operating room. Several hours later we awoke in the recovery room with to hear the babbling of our little boy, full of life again as if nothing ever happened. In an instant doctors and nurses rushed into the room and turned our TV on to what I thought was a movie playing. Then we all heard that the first plane struck the Twin Towers. Several of the doctors ran out down the hall, so I immediately followed them. At the end of the hall was a large window peering downtown to the towers with smoke billowing out of the first tower. What occurred next seemed like deja vu. All of us watched as the second plane struck and in that instant strangers became united with gasps and tears. What felt like eternity watching the towers fall from that hallway window was life changing. Back in the room with wife and son amongst the chaos of hospital staff clearing out rooms, the news on TV, and sirens in the distance, I realized in the midst of all this pain, confusion, and death that out of all of that life, freedom, and joy abounds so much brighter. The innocent smile of my 6 months old boy unaware to the tragedy that just occurred wiped away and fears about what might happen tomorrow. My son will carry that day with him for the rest of his life with his scar from his surgery. As a family we are always reminded of what was lost on that day, but more important yet celebrate life, unity, and pride of being American and a New Yorker!

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