There are certain events that are embedded in your memory and never forgotten. For me, these include the assassination of President Kennedy when I was in 1st Grade and the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
The first plane had already hit the North Tower when I arrived at Swain County Hospital in Bryson City, North Carolina. My company provided the retirement plan for the hospital and I was there on my bi-weekly service visit. I remember watching the events unfold on a small TV in an unused patient room along with the hospital CEO and his secretary. Suffice it to say, no work got done that morning.
I remember the sadness I felt for my friend Lisa whose brother worked for Aon on the 102nd Floor of the South Tower. She related how he had called her mother to tell her goodbye as he knew he wasn’t getting out.
I remember the relief I felt on hearing that my second cousin Kevin McEntrye, a fire fighter with the FDNY, had gone off duty earlier that morning and was home when the first tower was hit. He was a hazardous materials specialist and worked non-stop for days afterwards in the recovery efforts. He took an early medical retirement due to the respiratory issues caused by exposure to the toxic materials at Ground Zero.
I remember the bravery of the passengers on Flight 93 who fought back against the terrorists saving more lives.
I remember how we as a nation came together as one. Sadly, it didn’t last long enough.
I just remember.