Recently I was asked to describe some defining moments from my life. (Before you read on I’m curious if, when you think back, your defining moments are happy, sad, frightening or?)
For me I found that happy moments were not what came to mind.
Although the year changes, I never forget this date. September 11, 2001 reinforced the idea that things can change in an instant.
I was standing in line at a coffee shop waiting to pick up some bagels to take to a friend who was ill, when images began to fill the screen of the wall mounted tv. The sound was off and I thought, like those around me, that a movie was being shown.
The chatter from other patrons soon died and we watched in horror as footage of planes crashing into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York played out on the screen.
My phone immediately began ringing and the next few hours were consumed with phone calls, primarily from team members of the Search and Rescue team I belonged to.
At the time I was living in Florida and handling a bloodhound, a scent specific dog utilized when we needed to find one particular person, but the events of 9/11 called for the usage of dogs trained to search for anything living in collapsed structures.
Several of our team members who trained such dogs were deployed to New York with FEMA Task Force II to be a part of the search.
A defining moment as vivid today as it was twenty-one years ago. That day brought home awareness that the world can change in an instant. Many lives were lost in the attacks and more through the years as a result of the attacks. That day changed me in ways I’m only beginning to understand.
My bloodhound has been gone for many years, the hound in the image above was one that I had the good fortune to photograph one cold winter morning.