I know a lot of you have deeper thoughts and memories of 9/11 than I, so let's hear them. Especially Jesse, who communicated to me a moving story. Mine is below the fold. Post yours in the comments. Never forget.
9/11/01 was just another day here in Oriental. My wife & I were getting ready for a trip to the Chesapeake on our boat. I loaded sails and gear in the truck after breakfast and drove to the marina. It was hurricane season and the boat had all its canvas stripped from a storm watch. A friend at the marina yelled at me as I walked down the dock, "Hey, somebody just flew a plane into the World Trade Center."
Art was an honorable mention All-America power forward at NYU in the 50s. We became friends when he discovered I had also played college hoops. Of course, nobody remembers me playing, and the NYU folks have a room dedicated to him. He knew I used the WTC PATH Station when I visited the city while working at Bell Labs. The Broadway show lines at the TKTS booth were shorter there than at Times Square. "You gotta see this. There's fire pouring outta the building." He's a New Yorker and has the accent. So, I walked over to his boat and the TV was on. While I was working in NJ in the 80s, someone flew a small plane into a building in NYC, and that is what I was expecting. About that time, here comes the second plane. On camera. All I could do for a few minutes was stand there staring in disbelief.
Art had a phone on his boat, so I called my wife and told her. She said, "Ben works there, doesn't he?" My friend Ben is a Tech grad who became an actuary and moved to the city to work on Wall Street, but not in the WTC towers. I raced home and called him, but got no answer on his office phone. I called his home and he answered. His wife had minor outpatient surgery the night before and he was late leaving for work. His commute? The subway station at the World Trade Center.
Ben called this week, and I am sure he will call today. He & I talked while he was standing under the grandstand at the US Open, waiting for rain from Tropical Storm Lee to stop. I asked what he has planned for today. He and his wife will be at home together. By the grace of God, that's where he was when it happened.