Wednesday, September 8, 2021

9/11 September 11, 2001 One Man's Story

It’s been 20 years since the terrorist attack that we now refer to as 9/11. 

Three days prior on September 9th I had enjoyed lunch at Windows on the World in the World Trade Center’s North Tower as a guest of former Donaldson Lufkin and Jenrette senior managers who were in the process of finding investors post their Credit Suisse acquisition in August of 2000.

On September 11, 2001 I was thankfully 700 miles away in Charlotte. To this day I’m haunted by this memory.

A few days later a “fax” arrived at my 6100 Fairview Road office. I’ve keep Jay’s letter in my top desk drawer ever since. The date and time notations are for clarity.

My Memories of the day, September 11, 2001

September 11, 2001 will long be remembered as one of the darkest hours in this country’s history. It should also be remembered as one the brightest as thousands of selfless human beings attempted to save lives and a country rallied around all those that had be affected by the horrific acts of cowards who acted supposedly in the name of God. For me it was a day that I will remember for a lifetime.

I left Charlotte on September 10th with my colleague Courtenay M and our client Rich C to travel to NYC. We were scheduled to meet with Moody’s Investor Service and MIBA the following day to discuss our golf pool program. We arrived at Newark Airport on time and were met by Concorde Limo for the short drive into Manhattan. As approached the Holland Tunnel, the skyline of NYC towered in the distance. It is an impressive sight.

SEPTEMBER 10, 2001 12:30 p.m.

We checked into the Marriot Hotel and then met up with our other colleague, Clyde M. We grabbed a bite to eat in the Tall Ships restaurant right there in the Marriott. We discussed our presentation and established the three major point to get across to each party the following day. After lunch we all parted company until 5:00 p.m. when we met for drinks before having dinner at Grammercy Tavern (Danny Meyer’s restaurant) at 7:00 p.m.

During the afternoon, I decided to run up to Central Park. Not a smart idea, as it turned out to be a lot farther than I had remembered. After making my way up to the Park. I knew that if I want to get back to the hotel in time for dinner, I had better take a subway or I would never make it back in time. I was sever so proud of myself as I found the E train and took it down to the World Trade Center and walked through the concourse back to the hotel. I showered, changed clothes and met everyone upstairs before departing for the restaurant.

SEPTEMBER 10, 2001 7:00 p.m.

Dinner at Grammercy Tavern was delicious. Each person had something different and each person raved about the food and the service. After consuming too many chocolate desserts, we left and headed back downtown to our hotel. Since it had been raining during our dinner, cads were at a premium and it took us sometime to locate one. Our cab ride was anything but uneventful. The driver was a Colombian woman who declared to all of us that she was a part time cabby and part time drug runner. She told us she would rather be a full time drug dealer but the risk of being put in prison or being wiped out by the drug lords scared her too much. The entire ride back to the hotel she raged on about the United States, its useless attempt to curtail the drug business, its corruption, filth and two-faced policies. While spouting forth and driving, she continually played with her chest under her shirt and kept putting her hand on my leg. Unsetting to say the least. As we approached the hotel she took us in the back way right past the garage entrance to Tower 1. For a moment I remember the bombing eight years ago and wondered to myself if such an event would ever occur again. Little did I know what would occur the following morning?

After several cigars and beers later for the boys (I had another coke) at the Tall Ships bar, we adjourned for the night deciding on the time to meet for breakfast downstairs in the atrium restaurant. We agreed on 8:30 a.m. instead of 8:00 a.m., as we didn’t have our first meeting until 10:00 a.m., and the walk to Moody’s was just four blocks. We all headed to our respective rooms.

SEPTEMBER 10, 2001 10:30 p.m.

Dead tired from my long jog/walk to Central Park, I crashed for the night at around 10:30 p.m. I tossed and turned for the most of the night. I kept thinking it was so strange not to be sleeping well as I had gotten such a work out that afternoon.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 6:00 a.m.

I spent several house watching TV and as the sky began to lighten at past six, I arose for the day and showered and watched the morning news.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 8:00 a.m.

I left my room at 8:10 a.m. to meet everyone for breakfast. As I entered the restaurant, I saw Rich sitting on the upper right hand side. He was the only one present as the time. I sat down with Rich and we discussed various topics including the dinner the night before and our strategies for the meeting that day. As the clock approached 8:40 a.m., both Rich and I agreed to go ahead and order and when Courtenay and Clyde joined us they could order then. Our food arrived within minutes and Rich commented to the waiter “What took you so long?” The waiter laughed as it only been 3 or 4 minutes since taking our order and the time the food arrived.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 8:46 a.m.

I had just began to eat my eggs when I heard and felt a huge explosion. Within seconds there was a second blast which was much louder and severe that the first. The impact of this blast knocked me nearly off my chair. Not being able to comprehend what had happened, everyone in the restaurant just looked around in disbelief. Within seconds it became apparent that something horrific had happened as some type of debris began crashing through the restaurant’s glass atrium onto the food and patrons below. Being located on a raised level of the restaurant there was above us a solid ceiling so that no glass was crashing onto our heads. This was not the case for the other patrons and waiters and waitresses, so as debris continued to crash through the roof, chaos broke out.

Those caught under the glass roof began running towards us to seek cover under the ceiling portion of the restaurant and the tables themselves. Rich and I were looking for cover under the tables but the tables were already jammed with wild-eyed panicked screaming patrons.

As fireballs of debris continue to rain down from above, reality hit both Rich and I and we agreed to make a run for it. As we leapt over bewilder, frantic people to make our escape the debris continued to crash through the atrium and just as we made our way to the restaurant’s front door a body came crashing through the roof and landed on the floor just feet from both (of) us.

As we continued our run, I noticed the people outside the hotel in the open area between the two towers running in all directions. All of them had their arms over their heads and totally panic-stricken looks on their faces. The open area they were running through was strewn with massive amounts of burning debris and what appeared to be a whole bunch of white chalk or dust. (I didn’t realize until later that the “dust” was pulverized concreate.) One frantic man was within feet of the door from the outside into the hotel when he was struck and killed by a falling piece of steel.

The scene was unimaginable and incomprehensible. I had never seen a person die and after witnessing two people killed within seconds and within several feet of me, my mind became filled with an indescribable sense of terror. I realized that Rich and I were in a run for our own lives. I began praying that I would live so that I could tell my wife, daughters and other family members just how much I loved them. I just kept telling myself, you cannot die; keep going, get out of the building before something else horrendous happens.

Realizing I was in the middle of an enormous unfolding disaster, Rich and I raced through the 2nd floor lobby headed for the stairs that would lead us down to the ground floor lobby of the hotel. As we made our decent down the stairs, there were hundreds of people standing around the door looking confused, crying and screaming and not moving anywhere. Most people appeared to be in total shock and like me unable to comprehend what was truly happening. As Rich and I reached the front door, one of the hotel clerks told us not to leave the building. Another police officer said it was safer to stay inside. I wasn’t listening. My only thought at the moment was to get the hell out of the building because the building was located on top of the World Trade Center garage and basement and maybe there was another bomb about to go off. So Rich and I raced out of the doors and what we saw next caused us both to stop dead in our tracks.

From the top of the front steps of the Marriott Hotel the landscape had been transformed into what I imagine the surface of the moon to look like. The road, the sidewalks, the signs, the cars, the cabbies and just about everything you could see in front of you was covered with a layer of grayish white dust. Scattered among the dust were burning fragments of paper, steel, clothing and body parts. The entire area looked like a war zone. As I regained my mental capacity, I told Rich to follow me and we began to run across the northbound lanes of West Street.  As we cleared the median separating the north and southbound lanes, I noticed that all of the cars on the street were scattered around facing in all different directions and of the windshields of these cars were shattered. AS we ran across the southbound lanes we came within feet of a white car that was no longer headed southbound but instead had crashed headfirst into the median on the right hand side of the southbound leans. Its driver was no longer living as his head was hanging out the driver’s side of the car blood was gushing from the side of his head.

As we continued in the direction of the Merrill Lynch building, One Financial Plaza, the carnage scattered about was numbing. I still did not realize what had happened, as I had not yet looked behind me back in the direction of the Trade Center. When we reached the corner of the Financial Plaza (approximately 150 feet from the entrance to the Marriot Hotel) Rich and I both stooped running to catch our breath and re-orient ourselves to the situation around us. It was at this point that I look east back toward the Marriot and saw for the first time the inferno that was raging 80 floors up in North Tower (Tower 1).  I remember thinking, oh my God how are the ever going to put that fire out.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 9:02 a.m.

I still did not know what had caused the fire. I thought it might have been a bomb, a transformer blowing up, a plane off course, etc.  I had no idea it had been a terrorist attack nor did those around me. The scene for that moment was one of total pandemonium. People were screaming, crying, shaking and holding each other. Rich and I kept saying to each other, “we’re okay”, “we’re oaky” but then it hit us both that we did not know where Courtenay and Clyde were at the time of the explosion and we wanted to find them right away. To help locate them, we decided to stay close to the Merrill Lynch building in hopes that we would catch a glimpse of them leaving the building and call to them to come join us until the crisis subsided.

While standing watching the entrance to the hotel, Rich was able to call his wife on his cell phone and leave her a message. He told her “the World Trade Center was on fire. Jay and I are okay. We don’t know where Courtenay and Clyde are but we assume they are fine too. Please call Suzanne, Jay’s wife and let her know he is okay”.

As we stood taking in the situation unfolding around us, emergency vehicles began arriving at the scene and the police were in an orderly fashion pushing people back across the street towards the Hudson River to make room of the emergency response teams. As help arrived at the ground level, all Hell was breaking lose in the North Tower (Tower Number 1). Those desperate folks trapped in the burning tower were screaming for help. They were waving towels, clothes and any other object they could use to draw attention to themselves. Despite their frantic scream for help, no one was able to reach them and many were left with only one option: jump or suffer a worse fate. It was impossible to believe but out of sheer desperation and agony person after person leapt from the top floors to their death. As each one jumped people on the ground began screaming and sobbing. <y emotions were reeling. At one moment I felt helpless, another a coward – I should go help, another moment sick to my stomach and still another this is a horrible nightmare and O am going to wake up soon. I truly did not know what to do, where to go or what was going to happen next. I feared for my own life and wanted desperately to be home with Suzanne, Lauren and Sarah. I also wanted to find my friend Courtenay.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 9:03 a.m.

As my mind and emotions attempted to create some rational thought process, my whole being was shattered to the core as I dead a deafening roar and then looked up to see what speared to be a tail of either a plane, or a missile slam into the South Tower. The blast was deafening and the heat emitted from the explosion could be felt on our faces – we were that close to the blast. At this point I knew the city was under attack and I was scared to death. I did not know what to do or where to go. Rich and I just started running away from The South Tower towards the Hudson River. I wanted to get away from any building because I didn’t know which building was going to be hit next.

As we ran to the river, I dropped Rich’s cell phone. Desperation set in. I had lost the only thing that could give us access at some point to our loved ones. Luckily some nice guy picked it up and delivered it back to me and Rich reassembled the phone.

As we regrouped along the riverfront adjacent to the marina, I know our next route of escape was going to have to be to jump into the river. I told Rich about the current and looked for a piling that we could each hold onto should it ever become necessary. I figured the water would protect us from any flames.

After several minutes of no further attacks, I began to develop our game plan of how to get out of the city. I told Rich that we needed to make our way north. By going north, we would avoid being scattered with more debris as the prevailing winds that day were from the north. We thought about taking the ferry across the Hudson River to New Jersey but decided against is as we realized that brought us closer to Newark Airport and all those people trying to find rides out of the metro area. I decided at that point to attempt to make to MetroNorth at 125th street. I believed if we made it there we could get a train to White Plains and pick up a rental car and drive back to Charlotte and Hilton Head. I did not want to go to Grand Central because I wasn’t sure whether or not is was open or in fact whether is was the target of another attack.

Agreeing on moving north, Rich and I made our way around the marina. We were on the southern side of the marina after our run from the second explosion so moving north meant moving close to the Marriot hotel before being able to move further away. Rich was a little apprehensive about getting close to another tall building but we moved anyway. As we were making these decisions, we were continually attempting to make voice contact via cell phone with Bridget to check on the status of Courtenay and to notify our loved ones that we were still okay.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 9:59 a.m.

As we made our way to the northern edge of the marina, I heard another horrific blast and looked in the direction of the noise. What I thought I saw I could not comprehend…. The shell of the South Tower was peeling away from the core of the building and the floors were crumbling into each other like dominoes. The roar became a 100-foot high wall of glass, steel, pulverized concrete and paper and this wall of debris was rushing toward us at an ungodly pace. In a split second we knew we had to run to get out of the way the crashing building.

Rich and I both took off running parallel to the Hudson River as the cloud got closer and closer over our right shoulders. As we ran we lost view of each other as you had to watch your step so as not fall over those that had fallen, those that had had a heart attack or those there were suffering from asthmatic attacks. After running until I could run no longer, (I had run out of sidewalk and there was nowhere else to run except to jump into the river in front of me), I stopped to check out my situation. Fortunately for me the majority of the cloud had continued to move westward and not northward. That meant the cloud around me was just the peripheral edge of the cloud and not the black cloud which enveloped the area right behind me. As I looked behind me I saw the cloud race out into the river to the shoreline of New Jersey. In its wake, there was debris everywhere and hundreds of people dazed and confused and covered with ash and soot. Many more were floating in the river, either forced in by the blast or there by their own accord. No matter where you looked there were faces filled with total disbelief, fear and terror. 

While standing at the corner of the sidewalk and river, I frantically began searching for Rich among the thousands of other people that surrounded me. I knew Rich was as panicked as me and I knew we were much better together than apart. He was after all not only my client but my friend. After a few silent prayerful seconds, I spotted Rich and yelled to him. He heard me and we were once again reunited to continue together this horrendous ordeal.

We both looked at each other in total disbelief. Did we just see what we saw? It could not be. The South Tower did not just implode in less than 15 seconds. It just could not have happened!

Stunned and dazed, Rich and I continued to attempt to walk north. By this time, we were in a massive crowd of equally dazed and frightened people. No one could process the magnitude of the disaster and no one wanted to attempt to comprehend how many innocent lives had been lost in the rubble.

As we made our way back towards West Street, I could see for the first time, the impact side of the North Tower and the continuing inferno that rage from the upper floors. The devastation was more severe that I had thought and I then knew the inevitable – the North Tower was going to collapse as well. My thoughts continued to be with those trapped on those upper floors. It was incomprehensible to imagine their suffering or fate. It was unimaginable that another “human” could have done this to thousands of innocent people.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 10:28 a.m.

Before I had time to think anymore, The North Tower began to sink into itself.  It occurred with the same noise, cloud and chaos that had accompanied the first collapse. But this time you were able to see that the tower was collapsing into itself and falling straight down. This was evidenced by the descent of the radio tower which had once stood on top of the building. The radio tower fell straight down and never toppled over. Once again, my mind was reeling with feeling of total and complete denial and fear. Who could have ever imagined that within two hours the world’s largest buildings would have been reduced to a pile of burning rubble? Who could have imagined that thousands of innocent people would lie dying or dead underneath this rubble? I couldn’t comprehend any of it and I simple muttered, Oh my God, Oh my God.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 10:15 a.m.

It was now 10:15 a.m. and I was consumed with trying to reach Suzanne by phone. Rich’s phone did not work and there were not any land lines out on the where we had run to escape the masses. While mingling around looking in the direction of where the two towers used to stand, we were once again assaulted with a thunderous roar overhead. People ducked, jumped and screamed. We all thought it was another place headed for yet another landmark building in NYC. It was not. It was rather the roar of the engines of a United States Air Force F16. I have never been so relieved to hear the words “those are our guys. That’s the United States Air Force. It’s all okay.” You wanted to believe the words, but I really didn’t know if it was “all okay.” Who knew if there was another onslaught of planes inbound for another part of the city? What we did know is that we wanted to distance ourselves from the area as quickly as possible. 

We began our trek north towards 125th street walking up West Street along the riverfront. We were two of thousands doing the same thing. What struck me at this point in the nightmare was the total calmness of those around us. There were hundreds of thousands of people just walking in an orderly fashion, one foot after another. The screaming and crying had subsided. In its place was the constant piercing sirens of police, fire and other rescue vehicles.

Rich and I agreed we wanted to get away from the masses so we crossed over the northbound lanes and headed north on a road in from the West Side Drive. We stopped for a bottle of water to quench our parched mouth and throats. Unfortunately the first place was without any more water and it was not until several more blocks that we located a place with water.

We just kept walking, looking for an open landline to call our loved ones. Looking for a chance to make contract with those we knew would be concerned. This is where I realized the old saying was true; "sometimes it is easier to be the patient than the bystander.” Each phone we approached had ten or more people waiting and those on the phone didn’t appear to be having short conversations. So we pushed on.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 11:00 a.m.

Finally at approximately 11:00 a.m. I was able to find a landline and call collect to Bridget in Charlotte. I knew Suzanne wasn’t home and I knew Bridget could try lots of phone numbers and not disconnect me. So I called Bridget. The joy and relief I felt when I finally got through was overwhelming. I knew now that no one would have to worry any longer because Bridget would be able to track Suzanne down and tell her that I was okay. I cried when I heard Bridget’s voice and she told me that Courtenay and Clyde had called in and they were okay too. When Bridget tied in Suzanne and I heard her voice, my adrenaline stopped momentarily, and I couldn’t do anything but weep.

After regaining composure, Suzanne and I talked briefly and then I returned to my number one mission: get the hell out of the city.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 1:00 p.m.

Rich and I continued by foot northbound. We stopped at a little after one o’clock at an open air-restaurant to grab another water or possible something to eat. We were able to find a table inside and see for the first time with our own eyes exactly what had happened. The restaurant had at least six tv’s on the walls and every station had another tape of the actual place going into the second tower. I remember thinking, this is not possible. You are having the worst nightmare of your life. You are going to wake up and some director is going to yell, “cut”. Nothing in my life had prepared me for the four hours I had just experienced.

After a bite or two of a grilled chicken sandwich, conversations with perfect strangers and a hug from one of the strangers we deiced to push on. We attempted to hail a cab but to no avail. No cabby was taking new passengers. The street below 50th street were being left open for emergency vehicles. At this point we had 100 blocks to go (5 miles). So we continued to move north.

By this time, Rich’s expensive dress shoes had given him blisters and he had resorted to putting napkins inside his socks as to give his feet some relief from the pain. We both agreed this pain was far less than the being suffered by so many behind us at the World Trade Center so we stopped talking about the discomfort and pushed on.

At 79th Street we spotted a host of rental car locations. My heart seemed, for the first time in six house, to leap for joy. Maybe just maybe they would have a car and we could high tail it up the West Side Drive and get out of NYC?  Rich headed towards Hertz and I headed toward National. To our surprise and utter disappointment and frustration, no one had a car to rent us. Each attendant had the same answer; “I’m sorry. There isn’t a car left in NYC.” Words we dreaded to hear. Crestfallen, we each looked at each other and knew we only had one alternative; keep walking.

By 86th Street, Rich was really in great pain. We needed a ride to 125th Street or find a shoe store where we could replace our dress shoes with sneakers. We looked up and down block after block but no store was open. Every store had closed for the day and stores were now behind those metal gates used to keep the masses out at night. Up to this point I had not noticed this fact before. But as I looked around, it appeared that the majority of the city had closed and the city had become a ghost town. No wonder there weren’t any rental cars.

We keep walking. By the time we had made it to 90th and Broadway, Rich said he just couldn’t go any further and he would find us a ride from one of those “assholes” who were heading north and had not stopped to help us. Rich stood at the intersection of 90th and Broadway and asked several cars for a ride. It was not until a Porky’s meat truck stopped at that the light did Rich have any success. The truck driver agreed to take us to 125th and we both hopped up into the cab and shared one seat all the way to 125th. Despite one seat and jarring from each little bump, the ride beat walking and neither one of even thought of complaining. It was in fact the first time I smiled or laughed that day.

At 125th, the truck driver let us off. We offered him $50.00 but he refused it. He told us no and said he was only too glad to help us given what we had been through that day. We thanked him profusely and he said God Bless you. It was yet another time that I cried as his simple act of kindness restored my belief in humanity and a part of my broken heart.

I thought when the driver left us that we were at the metro north station. Oh how wrong was I. We were on 125th but clear across on the opposite side of 125th for the station. So we had yet another mile plus to go to reach the train. Rich still needed sneakers so we found “Harlem Sneakers” and we each purchased a pair. What a sight we must have been with both of us in business attire except for me in my black and red Nikes and Rich in his gray and silver Air Jordan’s.

We finally reached the station, waited several minutes and boarded the Harlem Division for the ride up to North White Plains. We sat down for the first time in five hours and oh how good it felt. As we rounded the bend on the train and began to cross over the Harlem River, I could still see the smoke billowing from lower Manhattan. It hit home once again. We had been spared from a horrific disaster. God had spared our lives and those of Courtenay and Clyde. Why? Why were we the lucky ones and yet so many other, thousand perhaps, were not so lucky. I couldn’t comprehend it and I couldn’t think about it anymore because I was exhausted both physically and mentally. It did not stop the guilt though as I sat in the air-conditioned comfort of the soft train seat.

We arrived at the Bronxville station and got off. We looked for a place to grab another water and a phone booth once again to call our loved one and let them know of our status. We were able to find a phone and I called home. I talked for the first time to my oldest daughter Lauren. Her voice sounded so good that it took me a couple of seconds of tears and silence to continue the conversation. Lauren used her cell phone to call and make us reservation at the Rye Town Hilton. When she had them confirmed, we hung up and Rich and I hailed a cad and dove to the hotel.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 6:05 p.m.

Upon arriving at the Rye Town Hilton, we were told there was only one room available but once we explained what we had been through, the nice clerk gave us each a room. After checking in we went to the gift shop and both purchased a pair of swim trunks, t-shirts and some toiletries. We agreed to meet back in the bar area after getting a shower and making some calls. I was able to talk to Suzanne, Lauren Sarah, my parents, brother and sister, and my in-laws Janet and Cowles, It was so comforting to hear each one of their voices and know that within a short time I would be able to be re-united with all of them.

SEPTEMBER 12, 2001 8:00 a.m.

The next day Chip came to meet Rich and me for breakfast. What a sight for sore eyes and what a joy to be able to hug him. It was what I now know was the beginning of the healing process. We ate together and then Chip took us to the North White Plains train station to rent a car. We left with our new red Trans AM car for the long journey back to Charlotte and then Hilton Head for Rich. A long hug good-bye, some tears and laughter and we were off on our 675-mile trek south.

SEPTEMBER 12, 2001 10:00 a.m.

The car ride was filled with emotion as Rich and I both grappled with the disaster and the events of the prior day. I remember crossing the Tappan Zee Bridge and looking south to the city and seeing the smoke still hovering over the tip of Manhattan. The sight sent chills though my body and a renewed fear that something still might happen. I accelerated faster over the bridge and remember breathing a sigh of relief as we cleared the expanse. Now it was only a matter of hours until I was able to wrap my arms around Suzanne and the girls.

As we drove south, I remember day dreaming. My mind was filled with the anguish of what I had witnessed the prior day. My emotions ranged from rage to utter devastation for the families that had lost their loved ones. I kept asking why? Why in a world like ours could such a horrendous act occur? How could God have allowed this to happen? Slowly but surely it became a little clearer. God didn’t have a hand in this act of terror. He was probably feeling the same sense of sadness that we all were feeling. He was probably thinking, how in the world could one of His children have done such a thing? That realization gave me a great feeling of comfort but I continued to prat that my own desire for retribution and hatred toward he cowards who carried out these acts would subside in time.

The drive was long and arduous. The car was silent for long periods of time and then at others there were expressions of anger, pain, anguish and joy. The emotions ran the gamut; tears, smiles, laughter and silence.

September 12, 2001 9:15 p.m.

We finally made it home to Charlotte at around 9:15 p.m. I dropped Rich off at his son’s house and watched as Rich hugged his son Tom. It was a reunion of father and son and such a joyous one at that. I lingered for only a short time as I longed to be doing the same thing with Suanne, Lauren and Sarah.

September 12, 2001 9:25 p.m.

I arrived home at 9:25 p.m. and found the back door locked so I rang the bell. I didn’t have any keys as they were in the rubble of the disaster in NYC. I heard Lauren’s voice and I began to cry. I will never forget how good it was to wrap my arms around her when she opened the door and then to be able to do that two more time with Sarah and Suzanne.

That night I lay awake thanking God for all that He had given me. For my safety; the love of my family; the love of friends and colleagues; my life and for being an American. I had a lot to be thankful for and this event reconfirmed to me those blessings thousands of time over.

As I regain the normalcy back into my life, I continue to mourn like all Americans and God fearing people across this world. I have confidence in mankind and know that good will eventually win out over evil. I still cannot fully process the carnage I witnessed on September 11th. But I can share with other the heroism of other human beings as I witnessed many selfless people attempt to save the lives of other human beings. The memories and the love of my family and friend that I cling to and it is this type of goodness that I cherish most about this glorious country we all call America.

As that wonderful song says, “I am proud to be an American” and I know America and all of its people have the might and strength to recover from this tragedy and eventually triumph over evil.

CP Foot Notes:

2,606 people died in the Twin Towers including 343 firefighters and 71 NYPD and Port Authority Police officers perished and more than 5,500 were injured.

A total of 2,977 deaths and more than 6,000 injured including the Pentagon and Pennsylvania.

In 2001 not everyone had a cellphone and yes there were payphones all over New York.

On that day CP had 3 staff members in NYC all made it home safely.

Harlem Sneakers is now Sneaker Den.

The 2001 Trans AM was an awesome car.

Porky's trucks both "Box" and "18 Wheelers" still roll along the streets of NYC.

Rich is now is his mid 70’s and lives at Lake Norman.

Courtenay is still active in the business

Clyde works for a major bank.

Jay I’ve lost touch with.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


...I too had dinner at Gramercy Tavern the night before...