Yesterday I was not planning on writing in The Hot Iron about the 8th anniversary of the terrorist hijackings and attacks on the US on September 11, 2001. I of course remembered the day, and thought about it quite a bit. However it wasn't until I read a post on Barry Moltz's blog about the 9/11 anniversary that I decided to comment on the post. His post featured tweeted messages from people, and my comment was surely longer than 140 characters. I had blogged on 9/11 a couple of years ago, but not in detail. The following is the comments I wrote.
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I was in the Back Bay of Boston, across the street from the Prudential Center, the second tallest building in the city. Where my office was, I could see planes from my window heading west. Did I see any of the planes leaving Logan that morning that were hijacked? Maybe, maybe not – it was like me saying I see the L trains going by today.
When we got news, it was like everyone did – choppy, continuously retracted, and then we couldn’t get anything on the Web and we hovered around the few TVs in the office to hear the news. Around 10 am ET they closed our office.
When I walked out the door, I realized there was nothing below me – in the Back Bay, there are all kinds of tunnels – subway, highway and train, and started walking towards the South End to get on “solid land” and then started calling friends. For some reason I drove into the city that day, and gave a few people rides back out.
The day before I had flown home from a wedding into Logan. The next time I flew through there, the airport was dramatically different. What looked like slapped-together dividers was the new security setup, and State Police had automatic weapons, which looked extremely awkward. Every time I fly through there I always think about what it was like before.
I had 3 friends affected by the terror attacks. One missed his bus for a meeting in one of the Towers and that’s why he is still here today. A friend worked in tower 7, the 3rd building to go down, and was working from home. Another had transferred to the PATH train to NJ at WTC and when they hit Hoboken they were told to get off, and when he got outside he saw the second plane hit the Towers. Also, someone with whom I served on an advisory board with, though I had never met, was on one of the planes out of Boston.
When I got up this morning and started my day I didn’t think of it right away. When I went to an office building today in the Loop and saw elevator banks wide open, aka not protected with security as all buildings in Boston became after 9/11, it then hit me.
A month and a half later my (then) fiancee ran the NYC Marathon. She had to be on the buses to Staten Island at 6am for a noon start due to the increased security. I recall walking around Midtown and there were very few people, even at the Today Show. We went down to Ground Zero and saw some of the cleanup that night. The subway only went to Canal Street and we had to walk from there. I’ll never forget the smell, not to mention the sight.
It is something I’ll never forget, and I know from what was done to us that day, it has made impacts on many things I do, great and small, everyday.
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