I remember early on a Tuesday morning, getting on a plane in Greensboro and flying to LaGuardia. I stopped to get some beanie babies for my kids.
And took a taxi to the World Trade Center at about 8:25am.
It was a beautiful September morning, crisp, clear. The taxi driver said there was some smoke at the WTC, so he turned on 1010WINS (“all the news all the time”). “A small plane seems to have lost its way and crashed into the WTC.” I needed to take the PATH trains to my client in Jersey City. I told the taxi driver to keep going. I lived in NYC for 20+ years; we don’t stop for minor things.
He left me off at Bowling Green. I rolled my luggage toward the WTC.
And the second plane roared past my ear. Or so it seemed. And crashed, with a loud explosion, into some everyday normal people sitting at their desks drinking their morning coffee.
Everyday between 8:30 and 9am there are (were) about 100,000 people in the WTC Plaza area, half in the World Trade Centers and half in transit. You can be sure they wanted to kill at least 50% of those people.
As you are reminded of this event, remember that it affected real people. People just like you. Directly. It isn’t about the TV or the radio or the movies or the newspapers or the books. It was real people.
I was there. So I must tell this story, this too true story again. I worked many years in the WTC or going through the WTC mall day after day. They bombed my living room and people I knew.
If it tells me nothing else, I tells me what my mother told me long ago. Be alive now, have the courage to do it now.