Girlfriends on 9 11Michele Baldwin last saw her best friend, Honor Elizabeth “Lizz” Wainio, in Tuscany, Italy, on Sept. 1, 2001, the night of Baldwin’s small Italian wedding outside Florence.

In her red bridesmaid’s dress, Wainio had seemed radiant.

“I remember saying to my husband, ‘I think she’s going to meet the man she’s going to marry soon, because she looks so happy and content,'” Baldwin said.

After the reception and hours of talking late into the night, Baldwin waved good-bye to Wainio — who had become like a sister to her at Catonsville High School years before — as the 27-year-old headed off in a taxi for her hotel in Florence so she could catch an early flight on her dream trip to Paris.

Ten days later, Wainio was on another plane — United Airlines Flight 93 headed to San Francisco from Newark — that was taken over by hijackers and crashed in a Pennsylvania field. For more, click here.

On the 8th anniversary of 9/11, it’s important to learn the lessons from the past. For friends Michele and Lizz, it was a painful parting of best friends and the lesson for Michele, that life and friendships can be too short. For all of us, who may or may not have known and loved one of the victims of that hateful day, it too is a lesson in appreciating our friendships and celebrating the girlfriends in our life who, like Michele and Lizz, become sisters.

Take a moment to stop today and feel gratitude for the friends in your life who love you and who have become your sisters. Maybe drop them a note, send an email, or tweet, blog or Facebook about them. Don’t miss this opportunity to show your love and appreciation.

Celebrate their friendship and what they mean to your life. And make 9/11 a day of remembrance – not just of the terrible things that happened eight years ago, but of the future of happy memories with your sister-friends.

Story and photo from Cantonsville Times.

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