September 11, 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of the devastating attacks that forever changed the course of American history. Our members reflect on the impact that day had on them both personally and professionally. AFGE 5th NVP Everette Kelly represents federal employees in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
I remember being in the union office at Local 1945, when I received the news. What a nightmare, I thought.
I went in prayer for all of the victims that lost their lives and
their families. I prayed for heroic Americans and AFGE members that were
involved. I prayed for the President and our nation’s leaders.
My mind went immediately to my son who worked in Manhattan for an insurance company as a computer programmer. We could not contact him and did he contact us for 12 hours. It turned out that he was aboard a plane on the runway in a London airport. Still, it was the longest 12 hours of my life.
That day changed my perspective and allowed me to focus on how blessed we are as Americans. So many times we take for granted the small privileges that we have as U.S. citizens.
I am grateful for the men and women who serve this country in the military and the public servants who provide care to our veterans, make sure our food is safe and support our military. I will always have a deep appreciation for the emergency response workers who served this country on 9/11.