September 11, 2007

Like most people, I remember where I was and what I was doing on Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001. I was in Hawaii. And given the time difference (six hours behind New York), I felt that I was the last person in the world to find out what occurred in New York and Washington. I received a call from a friend of mine at 6:30 a.m. local time who knew that I liked New York. He said that the United States was under attack. I quickly got ready and went to the lounge area and turned on the television. I couldn’t believe it. There was the city that I aspired to move to being destroyed. I then spent the next week glued to the news media as more information of the attacks was unearthed and events unfolded.

Last year, on the fifth year anniversary of that tragic day, I went to the WTC site in the morning to be present for the reading of the names of those who died on September 11th. Seeing family members and rescue workers back at the site remembering friends and family was an emotional experience for me. In fact, it was probably the most emotional I had ever been about the events of September 11th because it was real. I was there to mourn with those that mourned.

Now it’s six years later. Half of my firm’s offices look directly over the Ground Zero site where the foundation of the new Freedom Tower is slowly rising. Since I have moved to New York, I have found that speaking to someone not from here regarding September 11th is a vastly different experience from speaking about it with someone who was in the area or in the North or South Tower. I feel bad for those that lost their lives that day because many of them were in New York for the same reason that I am – they were trying to live the dream. Law firms, brokerage houses, investment banks and more comprised the offices that were lost. Sadly, too many lost their lives that day in the process of achieving their goals. I am unsure as to whether we are safer as a people now than we were before September 11th, 2001, but I do know that we should never forget what happened that day.


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