Like everyone else, I clearly remember where I was when it happened. I was living in Israel at the time, married but no children yet. I worked full time as a cashier in a busy supermarket. I had heard about it from my husband who called me at work. We knew a plane hit the towers but we still thought it was an accident. I came home and since we had no internet or TV, I asked my neighbor if I could come over and watch the news on her TV. While we were watching, we saw the most horrific thing which was the second plane plunging into the second tower. By now it was apparent it was a terror attack. We watched the news in morbid fascination, not believing this happened. The whole afternoon I was in a daze like everyone else. This was a world tragedy. Everyone knew at least someone who was in some way related to a victim.
And then, the heroes. The ones who lost their lives trying to save others. They are the ones we remember too, every year. I just wanted to give a little shout out to an organization belonging to us ultra-orthodox Jews. We have our own volunteer EMS service called Hatzalah which operates in the Jewish areas. Though they primarily service the Jews they will never ignore a plea for help from anyone, Jewish or not. When they heard about the disaster happening in New York, they didn’t think twice and raced to the scene, putting themselves in danger to save fellow humans. I think they deserve this shout out especially as they didn’t *have* to go since they’re not the official first responders. But they’re all about saving lives so whether there were Jews involved or not, it was a national tragedy and they just did what anyone else in their position would have done.
Hatzalah, thanks for extending yourselves to your fellow Jews and to each and every human that needs help. On 9/11 you made the Jewish world proud. A beacon of light among many others on that otherwise bleak day.
May G-d repay you all.