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Ten years ago, I was living in New Jersey. I can’t remember why now, but I had that day off. On days off, I tended to take advantage of the opportunity and would sleep in. That day, by the time I woke up, both towers had already fallen. I didn’t even have a clue, until my Dad told me about it. I put on the news and watched in shock the entire events.
I was living in central New Jersey and working for a company that had its headquarters in the financial district downtown. I spent most of my days in a North Jersey plant, but I often went to our headquarters to meet with clients or to meet with management. The company I worked for was a printing company who specialized in supporting financial institutions. All of our clients were banks, investment companies, and the like. Most of the big names you know were our clients.
We had many clients inside the towers. We also had many clients around the area who could not get to their offices. I was very proud to know that my company immediately stepped in started offering help in many ways. They first offered office space and equipment so that clients who could not get to their offices had a place to work. We provided cubicles, phones, computers, the works. Every location was opened up to support our clients in any way we could. I was really impressed with our company in those weeks.
I was lucky that I did not lose any family or close friends, but I did lose quite a few business acquaintances that day. Several people I worked with were lost that day. Some entire companies I worked with were wiped out. My biggest client would have been in his office in the tower that morning had he not had a meeting with one of his clients. The meeting was originally going to take place at his office, but the week before his client asked if he would come out to see them because they had another meeting right after.
I am incredibly proud to see how the tri-state area responded to such a major event. You always see the true character of people in extreme situations and boy did a lot of people shine. Emergency service personnel from all over the area jumped into action and worked together to do the best they could under the circumstances. So many brave people gave their lives trying to help everyone else. Even though I’m now in Colorado and completely loyal to the Boulder community I’m a part of, I am also really happy to be a New Yorker, especially after seeing people come together like that.
There will always be a scar from that event, and some images, like the couple jumping from the tower hand in hand, that will never erase from my mind. I am glad to see that New Yorkers, and the country as a whole can come together in tough times, and again in remembrance of tough times, like few other people can.
I just want to take this opportunity one more time to thank all the people that shined brightly on that day. Those that bravely gave their lives in hopes of saving others – we are forever in your debt. Those that bravely risked their lives even after others had died – we are so thankful that you would take that risk. Those that opened their homes and businesses and hearts and wallets to help us get through afterwards – we couldn’t have done it without you.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.