This is a day we will all remember. My heartfelt condolences to all those who lost loved ones. Many brave men and women lost their lives that day and in the days to come. To the brave men and women of the NYPD and NYFD, thanks for what you did on that fateful day, how you did it and everything that you did in the aftermath. You held us together when in seemed as though nothing could.
I traveled to and worked in NYC many many times over the years. I know the city well and as a young man had some incredible adventures there. My business connections all hail from there. The WTC was one of the coolest things in a city of cool things, seeming like magic to touch the sky. The towers in their majesty looked as if to defy the laws of physics. On cloudy days, the top was shrouded in clouds, as if it continued on forever. It was an awe inspiring sight. There was great beauty in its towering simplicity.
On September 11, 2001 I was getting ready to go to work when my wife called to me that a plane had hit the WTC. I assumed it was a small plane, like a cessna, an accident, but when I got to the TV it looked like something far larger had hit. It looked bad, but it seemed manageable. We could not have guessed what would happen next.
2 or 3 minutes after we stood there looking at the TV, dumbfounded, the second plane came in, in the shadow of the building. Coming so fast it looked like a missile or something. We screamed NO as it hit the second tower. It was in that moment that we knew this was no accident. Had the world gone mad? What was happening? I wondered if this was some huge Russian or Chinese cruise missile. Soon we saw what it was....airliners. But WHY?
Suddenly it dawned on me my friends daughter worked at cantor fitzgerald in tower one. My heart sank. She did not survive.
As the day unfolded, the Pentagon was hit, more innocent people died and more acts of bravery were carried out. Flight 93 went down, none of us yet knew the life and death struggle and heroism that had unfolded. Those people probably saved the capitol building from destruction. We watched in horror as men and women were forced to leap to their deaths as people in the middle east cheered. Eventually, to our shock and horror, the buildings came down.
This was evil on a grand scale.
So many people hurt, so many lives lost or shattered. Senseless, stupid, cowardly all come to mind for those that carried out this ugliness.
I still feel intense rage over this. This debt has not yet been paid in full.
But today is not the day for rage. Today is the day for remembrance. We will never forget the lives of our countrymen and women lost, the acts of heroism against impossible odds and the many who picked up the pieces, steeled their resolve and kept going about the work of fixing what had been destroyed in the horrific aftermath. We honor you and salute you.
Looking upon the lights tracing where the WTC once stood in the night sky, I am filled with sadness, but we will rebuild on that hallowed ground. The precious lives that have been lost though, they can never be replaced. The missing loved ones and friends who will not return will never be forgotten. We will be thinking of you, praying for you. I hope for solace and peace to all those left behind.
911-WE WILL NEVER FORGET