Why is that we seem to take life for granted until a tragedy occurs? I don't believe we make a conscious decision to do so. We just tend to get caught up in the activities, routines and struggles of everyday life and then, in a single moment, we are reminded of how precious life is.
Our priorities were instantly changed on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. Now, as we come upon the 10-year anniversary of the tragedies of Sept. 11, it is again the time for each of us to suspend our busy lives and reflect and appreciate our freedoms and those who gave (and continue to give) their lives so that we may live free.
In recent weeks, groups from across our community have come together to raise money for the support of the Sept. 11 memorial that will display a beam from World Trade Center Tower 1 here in Gilbert. I know that here at the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce our members held several fundraising events to help support the memorial and I wanted to thank each of them for their generosity and commitment to this cause.
I attended a wonderful Labor Day celebration in the mountains this past weekend and was quite taken as the band played Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the U.S.A." and all those in attendance sang along. As a dependent of a lifelong Army officer, I always get emotional when I see this outpouring of support for those who put their lives on the line for our country. Especially as my dad had to witness the not-so-patriotic welcome he received as he returned from Vietnam. I was too young to remember much except all of us kids racing to hug Dad as he walked down the steps from the airplane. Still, I do remember the hurt my mom and dad felt from that public reaction. It is so sad; yet time is a healer and it is so special now to see how we treat our veterans returning home with the respect and gratitude they deserve.
I hope that you'll participate in one of the many events scheduled for the remembrance of Sept. 11th. Take just a few moments to celebrate America and those who have sacrificed so we can be free. Bring the kids so they can capture some of that spirit that will stay with them well into the future. A schedule of events can be found on the Town's website at www.gilbertaz.gov.
Kathy Tilque, President/CEO of the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce