I was commuting to work on the west coast – having my own business at the time I could be late – and I heard on the news about the Twin Towers. I was thinking that this must be an anniversary of the 1993 bombing and wasn’t for 5 or 10 minutes did I realize that this was live.
Since that time, I visited Manhattan for the first time – in 2003. A friend of mine who lives outside Philadelphia had an invitation for a financial seminar to be held in one of the towers – near the top.
He decided at the last moment to skip it.
When I visited Manhattan I stayed at a little hotel in midtown run by some Catholic nuns. They all had their stories, but one mentioned being glued to the window and seeing the smoke off to the south.
Even 2 years later, some New Yorkers hated taking the subway.
During that visit, an acquaintance of mine, who lived in Manhattan, took me on a walking tour of the area. If you haven’t been to Manhattan, it is amazing how far you can go just walking. We stopped at the Fire House that was the first to respond. They were right by the famous Fulton Fish Market and I guess their firemen were first up in the Towers when they came down.
I took a picture and then, with a fireman looking at me – not a hostile glare but silent – a glare tinged with sadness that told me without words that I couldn’t possible have known them by taking just a picture.
You could not possible imagine the hole where the WTC was – pictures never did it justice. But I’ll try & show you.
I’ll show you the church that gave the responders some rest.
That day showed me that we are not immune to evil reaching our shore. But Americans responded. I don’t know if I could be among those who stormed the cockpit of Flight 93 and saved the White House or Congress by their sacrifice.
I’d like to think so .
But unless faced with it saying you would seems to diminish the sacrifices of those who did.
Two books I have read of this day showed 2 completely different perspectives – one was from Air Traffic Control and the other profiled people trapped in those towers – those who survived and those who didn’t.
May we never forgot those who died that day…