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Mailbag: Making a change after surviving 9/11 attacks

September 10, 2011

On Sept. 11, 2001, I was on the 61st floor of the south tower at the World Trade Center. This was the second building hit and the first to fall. I evacuated through the stairwell and was out of the building for about one minute when it dropped.

Ten years later, I continue to struggle with the violence, destruction and death I directly witnessed that day. I struggle for meaning and a sense of purpose from it all. I've lived somewhat meek, reticent and fearful when I should have been more thankful, gracious and bold.

The next 10 years, I need to live up to the gift of life I was granted that day. I need to be my better self, my best self. More thankful and giving, less fearful and selfish. We all need to make this a better world, and we are running out of time. Our children deserve so much more and so do we.

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John R. Crittenden

Newport Beach

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