I really started thinking about of this day yesterday when I looked at my bookmark. I grabbed a bookmark and slipped it into one of the several books that I threw into my suitcase for this week.
Well I pulled the book I was going to read first and noticed the bookmark for the first time last night. It happens to have a picture of what the area looks like now, but reflecting in the river is the Twin Towers. The backdrop for both pictures is a flag. It says "FALLEN... ...BUT NOT FORGOTTEN". Very odd that I picked up this bookmark to take with me.
This day holds many memories... tis my oldest sis' birthday. I've worked right across the street from the Twin Towers for many years. I worked for one of the World Financial Center companies for 12 years. I walked through one of the Towers to cross the overhead bridge to get to my office. I saw the automatic window washers move up and down on the Towers. Yes, I've even rode the elevators to visit some of the offices there. I always thought that the complex will always be there. I will one day visit the Observation Deck and eat at Windows on the World. The things we take for granted.
I knew what the newscasters were saying as they reported about the area. It was my backyard for many years. My parents, now just Mom, still lived in Chinatown. Majority of my siblings worked in Manhattan. As the city came to a stand still and trying to figure out what's happening, family came thru to ensure everyone had a place to stay. I discovered later on that my sister-in-law was just a block away.
My company did work for one of the company's that had one of the highest lost ratio. We worried that we may have had consultants still there. I learned later on that an ex-company president had just left the Tower after a sales meeting.
I will remember the fellow consultants I was with when we first got the news that something hit the first tower -- we were in Charlotte, North Carolina on assignment. Our whole group and lots of company employees watched the whole thing transpire on a big screen in the cafeteria.
On this day, the United States air travel came to a stand still. While I and some others stayed in Charlotte because we could not get home for the weekend, the others came up with a game plan to get home. I think it was a one car drive from Charlotte NC to Houston TX with stops in Atlanta, New Orleans and Dallas.
I saw, read and heard of many stories of people helping each other. Some had happy endings and many around the tragic sites did not. Yes.... sadly.... thoughtfully....
FALLEN... BUT NOT FORGOTTEN