First, we must never forget the fact that unarmed civilians were brutally murdered. Second,They were unarmed. After 9/11 the taliban and terrorist challenged America claiming that we are cowards because we attack them from the air. That is exactly what they did....and the difference is that the people in the Towers were unarmed.
I worked at Chase Bank on Long Island. One month prior I had turned down a job offer from another financial company whose office was located at 7 World Trade Center. Of course calling his office phone number was in vain as the only thing that came up was some type of busy signal. 3 days later I received a call that he was fine. Driving on the way to work for some reason I had the AM radio on. I usually have the radio OFF on the way to work. Today was different. A news flash came across the radio that a "small" plane had hit the Tower. I thought , well that's bad, maybe only a few people were killed. I drove a little faster to get to work to see if my boss had the Internet on. I was preparing to open the bank and my Boss called me in. Showed me the computer screen and he said another plane had crashed into the other Tower. I said to him.."That's not an accident..that's some sort of terrorist attack." He looked back at the screen and said "You know you could be right" When my coworker came in she had not heard of the attack, but it would be impressed in her memory for years to come as the news flash cam across that the Pentagon was attacked. That teller suddenly started crying uncontrollably. She handled a few customers but start crying again. Finally I stepped away from the window and asked my Boss why she was crying...he did not know this and called her away from the Teller window. It turned out her Sister works at the Pentagon where 184 people were killed.
A plane had crashed in Pennsylvania. It was headed for the White House. Customers cam into the bank crying, pulling out all their money. Another Financial Rep who was usually more strict than all the Nuns from my elementary school combined(today I thank them for that) took the radio from the break room and put it on the counter behind us that were on window duty(we were all Financial Reps but required to have shifts on the Wondow). It was at THAT point the gravity of the situation hit me. Even the strict Rep was standing by the radio listening to every word.
Our Boss came out of his office, clearly disturbed, spoke in a hushed tone and said that an emergency protocol was being set. i don't remember if their were restrictions on transactions but I do remember the Teller whose sister was in the Pentagon was allowed to work at the Entrance Desk where she frantically kept calling relatives to see if anyone had heard from her Sister. She kept crying and I told her that she must pray and that i would. She smiled and said she wants so badly to hear her sisters voice. I then upon hearng that went to my Boss and said he has to let her go home so she could be with her family. He agreed and let her go home.
I wondered that day if there was anyone I knew in the Towers and had a feeling that my friend's father was still working there. It turned out that he had changed companies once the Japanese Economy had soured and as a result of that was no longer working in the Twin Towers. He was around the 80th floor and we all know many did not make it from that high up.
Some of those that did not make it that worked in the higher part of the building had walked the same hallways as me in high school. Sometime shortly after 9/11 Newsday came out with a front page picture that was a tribute tot eh 20+ alumni from my high school that had died in the Twin Towers. As I looked at the 20+ passport sized photos some of the "kids" photos stuck out. There was Jake..he used to sit a few tables over during lunch break in the cafeteria. I remember that other guy...I used to pass him in the hallways on the way to class. There was Mike...he was on my track team, used to live in Lynbrook like me and worked at Cantor Fitzgerald. He never had a chance. We all know how hard Cantor was hit. Two kids still in my high school at that time would go home early that day because their Fathers worked at Cantor Fitzgerald and were killed. My high school has t.v. in each room. I can not even imagine what those kids went through. They had just been in school for only an hour and surely must have heard that the Towers were being attacked. The pain they experienced that day is unspeakable.
My cousin married a very nice man. He is a business man. He would find out later that day that his cousin, a Firefighter had gone to "Ground Zero". He would never see him again. I never once asked him about it...and He never talks about it. Another family member tells me they were like brothers and for a long time he didn't go into the city.
When President Bush made his State of the Union Address after 9/11 he held up a Port Authority Badge. Mr Howard used to own that badge. His mother gave that to President Bush and I am sure today President Bush has that badge as a reminder. Mr Howard was one of those Alumni whose photos appeared on the front page of Newsday's list of 20+ alumni from my high school that died that day in the Twin Towers.
Today, we must make the most of our lives and pause to remember that many others had their lives cut short. We must remember that family members of the Victims whose lives were also turned upside down because they were Victims of the attack. Their pain and suffering did not end on 9/11. And that is all I can say.