On the morning of September 11, 2001, I sat in my high school debate class when news unfolded that a plane had flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. I vividly remember the day and the waves of emotion, as news of the other crashes flooded in.
On September 7th, I had the opportunity to run alongside my teammates, the brave women and men who protect our country, and members of the community in the Tunnel to Towers 5k in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Tunnel to Towers Foundation offers support to children who have lost a parent and to firefighters and military that have been seriously injured and sacrificed their quality of life in the line of duty.
As we received our numbers for the race, we each shared our story about where we were during the 9/11 attacks. While each story differed, the common theme was that we knew our lives and country had been changed forever. At 8:30 am, as we lined up for the race, we spoke with several of the firefighters who were participating in the race. Many of which, were running the race in their full gear (60 pounds)! I started the race with Georgia, an avid runner. As she sped off, I kept a steady pace and found my motivation in my fellow runners and fans cheering us on from the sidelines. I finally crossed the finish line at 28:33 minutes. I’m looking forward to improving my time at each race, as this was my first 5k of the season.
The core belief of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation is that every time we change a life for the better, we change the future. One mother, father, brother, sister, daughter and son at a time … we can make the world a better place … and transform and transcend 9/11. The Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders share a common belief, as we strive to make an impact on the community.
I’m grateful for those who serve and protect our country. Their sacrifices afford my teammates and I an opportunity to enjoy our everyday lives, such as participating in a 5k on a beautiful Saturday morning!