As I am writing this story, I’m watching a live stream of my nephew, Zachary Bloom, graduate from Basic Training in the Air and Space Force. I am so very proud of him. I will never truly understand what he has been through over the past 7 weeks. Many of you reading this have children, siblings or parents that have served, and you might have gotten a glimpse of what I am talking about. It’s hard. Harder physically and mentally than anything most people will ever go through.
Zach has always cared about the people around him, and this is a further commitment to a life of service. His faith, intelligence and strength have gotten him to this point, and will carry him in the months and years to come. His Airman coin is in his pocket now. And I know he will continue to push, grow and step up when called in all aspects of his life.
I will never forget where I was during 9/11. I was in Colorado with my family getting ready to go on the Pike’s Peak Railway to the summit of Pike’s Peak. I got in the car and turned on the radio. Somebody was talking, so I changed the channel looking for music. By the time I got to the 3rd channel, people were still talking. So I started listening to what they were saying. That’s when I learned about the World Trade Center attacks. I went from shocked to scared to angry.
Earlier this year, Trista and I went to the 9/11 Memorial in NYC. It was an emotional and sobering reminder.
When I see people in uniform, whether it’s police, fire, or military, it makes me pause. These people serve our cities and our country. They’ve been through a lot to be able to protect and serve us. Their ranks include my father, my uncle and now my nephew. I’m humbled and thankful for their service.
I will be raising a glass of Horse Soldier Bourbon in honor of the fallen of 9/11. This bourbon is made by veterans. The bottle was forged with steel from the World Trade Center. That steel was donated to the team at Horse Soldier by the New York City Port Authority. And you can find this bourbon at Gomer’s, Lucas Liquor and many other liquor stores around Kansas City if you want to virtually join me.
To the fallen. And to all of those that continue to fight the good fight.