It is hard to believe it has been 17 years since the attacks of September 11th. As others have noted, it is was one of those “where were you?” type of days just like JFK’s assassination and the Challenger explosion.
The things I remember:
Watching the second plane hit the South Tower just after 9am on a small TV at Swain County Hospital in Bryson City, North Carolina. I had gone to the hospital on business and learned about the attack soon after I arrived.
Learning that one of my friends in Human Resources lost her older brother who was working on the 102nd Floor of 2 WTC and the outpouring of support she got from the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. While she might have been an Italian-American from NY, her husband’s family was Cherokee and thus the tribe felt a connection to 9-11.
23 alumni from one high school – Monsignor Farrell HS in Staten Island – were killed that day. Two of my cousins had graduated from there and had graduated with some of those killed.
Feeling relief that my second cousin Kevin McEntyre was off-duty from his job with the Fire Dept of NY and had already gone home by the time of the attack. However, in the days that followed he was there helping with the cleanup and rescue efforts. He took a medical retirement a few years ago due to all the toxic dust he inhaled over those days and months.
That the United States was united in our resolve to fight back against those who attacked us.
These are indelible memories for me just like when Kennedy was assassinated which I remember as a first grader in Asheboro, NC.