On September 11,2001, my daughter and I had just moved to MN in August and were staying with my parents. (and it is because of 9/11 that I made the decision for us to move back to Virginia, to be closer to my two sons who still lived in this area.)
A great deal of the local MN coverage of the September 11th terrorist attacks at the time were about Thomas Burnett,Jr a local man who was one of the passengers on Flight 93. He had attended Jefferson High School , as had my brother and sisters, and so for me he is one of the faces and stories of 9/11 that I always honor and remember.
In 2004 my daughter and I were back home visiting again, and we went to the memorial that his classmates had erected for him at Jefferson High School
I came home afterwards and found the origin of the quote on the memorial..it is from a January 2001 speech at a Thoratec executive staff meeting, the biotech company where Tom was senior vice president and chief operating officer.
Tom stated," "What we accomplish in life,our pursuits, our passions,echo in posterity through our children, our neighbors, and ultimately in our souls. Treating people that would otherwise die has a resounding effect on those around us. The struggle to preserve life enriches all of us, and our humanity is fortified in the process. To deem life important and to act, affects all of those that bear witness to it."
On September 11,2001, Tom and many others 'deemed life important'..and acted.