September 11, 2010 — A Reflection on 9/11/01

9-11 should be regarded by all Americans as a somber day, one for reflection of the events of the day nine years ago. I remember being in Santa Fe, NM the morning of 9-11-01 for a sales meeting, having flown in from NYC the day before. I was watching the Today show on my television in my hotel, viewing the coverage from the damage from the first plane that crashed into the World Trade Center, when we all saw on live TV the second plane slam into the second tower. It’s still beyond words to express the shock felt in seeing that and the aftermath of the day.

I have friends who worked in the Twin Towers or in nearby buildings and a colleague of mine who were with me who had a brother who worked in the WTC and couldn’t contact them for a time to see if he was safe (fortunately, he was). And while, thankfully, I didn’t directly know anyone who died in the towers that day, there are people of come in contact with who have had relatives or friends who perished there.

My daughter standing in front of Rescue 1, August 2001, which was among the FDNY vehicles that answered the call at the World Trade Center less than a month after this photo was taken

In August of ’01 my family and I went to a fire safety exhibition at the Intrepid Museum, where we spoke with one of the firefighters who worked on FDNY’s Rescue 1. I always wonder on this day whether he was one of the 343 that fell that day.

Back on 9-11-01, with me in Santa Fe, my family in NYC and all commercial flights being grounded, I decided to drive back to New York along with three of my other colleagues from the area in the rental car we had. Sept. 11 ’01 was a Tuesday and we left that Thursday from New Mexico for NYC, stopping at sunset in Oklahoma City at the memorial that was put up for the horrific bombing on April 19, 1995 where a terrorist, Timothy McVeigh, killed 168 people. There were tributes to the people of New York City that were put up there by local residents that was heartwarming.

We made it back to New York City in two days, and until Saturday did not see a plane in the air during that time. It’s a strange feeling driving as long and as far as we did across 2/3’s the length of the United States, without seeing a plane in the air. It added to the surreal sense everyone felt. As we approached Manhattan we could see the smoke from the fallen towers and smell the smoke in the air. I recall seeing a Navy hospital ship docked in the Hudson River, waiting for casualties from the Twin Towers that were not to be received.

I bought a disposable camera before we left Santa Fe. I found some of the photos, nothing worthy of posting. But I know I have others among some old photos. I’ll post them when I do.

The night of 9-11-10 I went down to Ground Zero to photograph the Tribute of Light that has been put up every year since 9-11. It’s a pretty moving site as is the tributes to the victims of this horror at Ground Zero. Here are some of the images.

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Terrorists attacked us nine years ago and attempted to pervert a religion as the basis of their terror. These were sick people who hate our way of life and freedoms. But we have politicians, a “pastor” and bigots in the media who want to distort and stoke fear into Americans hearts, obfuscating terrorism with religion to use this issue for their own means and personal gain. The actions of these people today disparage the meaning and remembrance of those who died on 9-11-01 and must be called out as the charlatans they are.

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