13-11-09-01

Thirteenth Anniversary

World Trade Center

Okay, so it was a no brainer… The numbers are simply the countdown view of the numbers used in the anniversary of the Terrorist Attack we commonly call 911. This is the 13th Remembrance of 09/11/01.

I chose this picture from the myriad of photo’s available because I want to remember the Twin Towers as they were, not what they became…

Often thought to be an unlucky number, the thirteenth of anything I handle very well, thank you very much. Since my birthday is the thirteenth of a certain month. I have faced many birthday celebrations, even on the nefarious Friday the 13th! In fact, according to my calculations, I have had 9 birthdays on a Friday the 13th since my birth. I was born on a Thursday – so that means my very first birthday celebration was on Friday, the 13th!

Today is the 13th remembrance of the terrorist attack on American Soil that killed thousands of people in just a few moments of time.

I never had a business reason to be in the Twin Towers, but I have had some enjoyable memories of time spent in NY back in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

The bank I worked for, Texas Commerce Bank, had entered into some agreement with Chemical Bank (and then the mergers and acquisitions started and now it’s JP Morgan Chase) and we were beginning to migrate our data processing over to their systems. So, a number of us went several times to start the planning process.

That first trip allowed me to stay in the Vista Hotel that nestled between and at the foot of the Twin Towers. That hotel was later demolished after a terrorist bomb in the parking garage made the foundation weak. 

For my several trips there, the evenings often availed opportunities to become the visitors and tourists we truly were – Central Park, Wall Street, Broadway, Time Square, Empire, Tavern on the Green , Lady Liberty, Battery Park – a host of traditional events rounded out some really hardworking trips.

On one trip we took an afternoon off to go see a Broadway Show, Cats. What a phenomenal event!

As I am a loner and introvert by nature, it was especially the early morning hours that I enjoyed solo strolls through the city. One morning, I ended up at the restaurant on the 109th floor of one of the Towers (I truly did not know their names or numbers). Setting at the window I enjoyed the rising sun over the city. Beautiful morning. Then, a few steps up to the top of the building and I hiked around the observation walkway on top of the building. You were about 25 feet from the edge of the building, but what a spectacular site and feeling – 110 stories above the street on a beautiful morning!

Another morning found me underground, beneath the Twin Towers, sitting at a little coffee shop – overlooking the multiple storied escalators as people poured out of the underground rail system. Like poking an ant hill with a stick, people would swirl up out of the ground on their way to another busy work day.

Those days are gone. I did not remember whether I too my trusty 35mm camera with my to NY. I can find no pictures to mark my journeys. Yet, the power of those days nearly 30 years ago are fresh in my mind and this morning I pay respect to those who lost their lives on 9/11/01.

No terror can take away my memories of those visits and no attack will make me feel any less proud of my country.

Thirteen years later and my memories of that morning are real. A phone call from a friend. The horror of what was done. Lives lost. We were in Anchorage that day. Planes were being grounded everywhere. Fighter jets were circling the cities, ready to protect our lives.  This was before the days of Twitter and Facebook. Most communication was by phones and email.  As we watched the destruction, we could only hope and pray for that everything would turn out alright.

Today we remember… We will never forget.

 

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