This is the 19th Anniversary of 9/11 which was one of the hardest days for our nation and the world. I remember that day like it was yesterday. The sky was the bluest that I had ever seen and the weather was perfect. I was a young attending physician at Mt. Sinai and shortly after the plane hit the first tower, I received a call to go the Emergency Department at a hospital just outside of the Lincoln Tunnel on the New Jersey side to help. As I got myself ready to go, I watched in disbelief as a second plane hit the second tower. When I got to the Emergency Department, hundreds of stretchers were prepared in anticipation of taking care of the injured that we thought would soon be coming. It was surreal there were lots of medical staff waiting in silence, it was so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. That day I only took care of seven patients despite waiting till midnight in hopes of finding survivors. Unfortunately, we were finally told that at least two thousand were probably dead.
9/11/2001 was a day filled with so many different emotions and thousands of people searching for their loved ones. That day brought everyone together to work as one, to do whatever it took to help others. First responders are always the ones running towards the danger to save lives, while everyone is running from it. 9/11 taught us all to be resilient and persevere.
On a daily basis, my cancer patients and their families show great strength and persevere through good and bad times. They never give up and always have hope. They truly are resilient.
Every year on 9/11, the Beam of Light shines from lower Manhattan where the Twin Towers stood and I call it the Beam of Hope for all of us. Never give up your hope!