Every May 23rd I remember this tragic day. Those memories are always there. But I only allow them out to really feel them on May 23rd. Tonight as I was reflecting, I pulled out the old newspaper articles. I'd forgotten about this photo.A reporter snapped it of me in a moment that should have been private. Just as a sergeant told me two of my squad mates had been shot. My emotions overruled my training in that moment. Thirteen years have passed .... but seeing this photo made me feel like I was standing in that same spot hearing those words all over again.
The events of this day changed my life, changed the way I look at the world, changed me. I was so young and so new to the job. Maybe that's why no matter where I am or what's going on in my life, I always pause on May 23rd and remember.