Editor's Note: In order to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, Patch will be rolling out special features to honor the people who lost their lives in the attacks.
The following piece was contributed by Margaret Campise, president of the West Islip Breast Cancer Coalition and answers the question, "How 9/11 changed me."
My life has been changed by 9/11 in many ways. Personally, my son works in Manhattan in the financial district and was in eyeshot of the second plane hitting. He also saw firsthand the horrific destruction and bodies that blanketed the streets of the WTC. As he headed out on foot, I thank God he called me to say he was alright.
I have looked at life through different eyes, and my heart ached for all the loss of lives and for the families of the victims. I gained a new understanding of what camaraderie is and how the nation pulled together to help one another. The horrific and deranged minds that set out to make a difference in our country succeeded… …they brought us closer together as a nation, and reminded us how proud to be Americans we are!
This also confirmed my feelings of being a volunteer and helping each other in times of need, as a payback for being fortunate enough to be able to. I have been volunteering in West Islip, my whole existence here, and presently the President of the West Islip Breast Cancer Coalition. It is my pleasure to serve, in memory of those lives that were lost.