Sep 12

I remember that day very well. My wife, Lisa,  had taken our daughter with her to her mother’s house. I was still at home and hadn’t left for work yet. Lisa called me to tell me a plane had crashed into the World’s Trade Center, at the time, details were still sketchy. I assumed it was an accident, the truth that would later be unveiled, was at that time unthinkable. I turned on the television and watched a live CNN broadcast of the disaster: burning, smoking wreakage. Then, another plane careened by. I expected it to come out the other side, behind the Towers. I expected that the second plane was, in fact, behind the towers. It didn’t. I saw it smash into the second tower in a conflagration of fire, glass and twisted metal. Minutes later, the President appeared on television and announced that our country was under a terrorist attack.

I worked for BellSouth at the time. A state of emergency had been declared, and everyone at work scrambled to get phones and service ready for government facilities in the Metro Atlanta area. Not really knowing what to do, in a bit of a daze, I went to work. On the way there, the radio reported that another plane hit the Pentagon.

At work, we had TVs set up so we could watch the events as they unfolded. I watched people jump to their deaths to escape the fire, saw people scramble about the smoking streets of New York-confused, frightened, not sure of what to do. I saw the Towers collapse. My Uncle John was in New Jersey when it happened-he took photos of the smoking Manhatten skyline, scanned them, and emailed them to the rest of us throughout the day. Shaken, I actually emailed all the members of my family and tried to get them to pray with me.

My Father was in Korea that day. He went to a Buddhist temple, donated a brick-it’s still there, it says: FDNY

My Grandfather was in the FDNY.

When I write my posts, I try to have something positive to say. I try to impart some parcel of inspiration that comes to me-usually as I write the text itself. Here, even eight years after this tragedy, it seems that the best and most honest thing to do is to report the facts of what happened to me personally that day. It’s a day that we all remember. And perhaps the best way to honor those who passed is through memory. There is honor in memory.

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