– There’s not an American over the age of 18 that will ever forget were they were on that tragic day, September 11, 2001 when 2977 innocent victims lost their lives to senseless acts of terrorism in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania. To this day, I can still hear Dennis Brennan say in a curious voice, while at his desk in the office at Finnigan’s Wake, “a plane just hit the World Trade Center”. Like many people who heard the news for the first time, I just assumed it was a small passenger plane that mistakenly flew in to the tower, not knowing the horror that was yet to come. Within minutes, I remember, proprietor, Mike Driscoll, turning the TV on in the office and us all watching in disbelief as the tragedy unfolded right before our very eyes.
The next thing I knew, I was speeding through the streets of downtown Philadelphia picking up my wife from work, then quickly over to my son’s school, Roman Catholic HS also in center city in the middle of absolute chaos because, at that point, New York had been hit, Washington D.C. had been hit and a lot of people thought downtown Philly, being in the middle of both, might be next. There were cars blowing red lights, horns honking and people panicking trying to get the hell out of the metropolitan area.
Like many Americans that day, after we got home, we turned on our own TV and planted ourselves directly in front of the screen frozen in disbelief as we lay witness to one of the worst tragedies in American history. I remember we shut the door behind us and from the moment we got settled till we went to bed late into the night, we were paralyzed in our living room watching as the world changed in front of our eyes in ways we could never have imagined just hours before the 2 iconic symbols of American stability crumbled to the ground and we realized, at that time, that life as we knew it would never be the same.
On this, the 12th Anniversary of 911, we remember the day it happened and most every detail of that day but most importantly we remember them. We remember those innocent people who went off to work for their families on that fateful morning and never came home. We remember the tears of the families who lost loved ones who will grieve today just as deeply as when it happened and we remember the first responders, many of them union workers, who flocked to New York City, without hesitation. While others were leaving, they entered to lend a helping hand in hopes of making a difference.
With the recent celebration of the the Spire being placed atop One World Trade Center by union workers, many who were there both as first responders after the initial collapse of the World Trade Centers, as well as to proudly rebuild the current tower, I could not help but to pray that all those who lost their lives were looking down from above, as the Spire was placed so beautifully atop the new Trade Center Tower, and were just as proud as the rest of us with the knowledge that the rebuilding of the new tower symbolizes the spirit of the United States of America and the proud legacy they left behind!
In Solidarity, We Remember!