Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Tear of Joy

There are very few things in this world that bring me to tears, but two of these such things brought me to tears last weekend. And these two things in particular always bring me to tears.

The first of which is the National Anthem. They play it before every sporting event, and rarely a time goes by in which I can actually sing it and not have to stop and catch my breath. I'm not exactly sure when that started, but I know for a fact that since 9/11, not once have I been able to make it through the National Anthem without taking a moment to pull myself together. I can't help but think of all the men and women who have given up their lives for our freedom and protection. Not just military folks, but policemen and firefighters as well. And I cannot possibly, ever express to them just how grateful I truly am.

I saw the most amazing thing while I was at Notre Dame this weekend. A group of guys from the New York Fire Department and the FDNY Fire Family Transport Foundation brought a group of soldiers from the Wounded Warrior project to Notre Dame for the football game. They were the nicest bunch of guys you'd ever want to meet, and the stories that they told (both soldiers and firefighters alike) definitely took our breath away and brought us to tears.

But even more amazing than that, was the gentleman who brought them to town. He is a Notre Dame alum and a New York Firefighter himself, who lost so much on 9/11, and to deal with that he has created the most amazing 9/11 memorial/display in his garage that you'd ever want to see.

The items that he has collected and assembled over the last ten years not only gave me goosebumps and took my breath away, but brought me to tears, and then to smiles again. I can't even put into words how amazing this experience was, and the fact that I am at such a huge loss for words is pretty crazy, but this is something that I wish everyone could see once ... it is just that moving.

The other thing that always brings me to tears is the Notre Dame Alma mater. I know, that must sound crazy to you, but Notre Dame is so much more to me than just a football team. It was four years of learning, amazing friends, and experiences that made me who I am today. Every chance I get to share Notre Dame with my friends and family, I jump on ... because I want them to see first hand that Notre Dame is so much more than brick and mortar. It is a place that nurtures young adults, and makes them the leaders of tomorrow. I would not trade my time at Notre Dame for anything, and the friends that I made there I will have forever ... and that in itself brings me to tears. I wish I could somehow convey that to people, but to some people all they see, or will ever see, is football; and I am sorry for their loss.

Okay ... that's my "pause" for today! May God bless you and yours!

Oh, and one more thing, if you'd like to learn more about the FDNY Fire Family Transport Foundation, please visit their web site. It's a wonderful organization that could really use your help!


1 comment:

  1. I'm with you on the national anthem. That's one time when even a 3 y.o. is allowed no excuses for acting up.

    I didn't go to Notre Dame, but the fight song conjures up similar stuff for me. It's not just football. It's family and friends. It's history and tradition. It's when I was 14 and there was nothing I could talk about with my dad except football. It's how I knew the grandpa I never met. It's a Saturday afternoon of soda, "itos" and "fooffall" with the 3 year old.