Incredibly it is now 13 years to the day since the horrific terror attack on US soil took place centered in New York City, Washington, D.C. and a field in Shanksville, Pa.!
And, like most any watershed event typically will, 9/11/2001 changed the way in which Americans needed to think about national security and the global war on terrorism.
Although the attacks on 9/11/2001 were not the first time Islamic extremists had attacked the United States either at home or abroad, it was a wake-up call for many who did not or could not see the threat.
Sadly, as highlighted by President Obama’s speech last night, the terrorist threat as well as the need to fight it has not ended and in fact seems to have escalated over the past 13 years.
For Americans this signals that the need for vigilance has not waned, but has in fact grown stronger.
This continuing threat, however, is a story for another time as today I would like to share my memory of that fateful day 13 years ago!
It’s not a long story, but it is a story that I will never forget for as long as I live in the same way that those who were old enough to viscerally experience the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor or the assassination of President Kennedy never will either.
My September 11, 2001 story
On September 11, 2001, I was working as a proprietary equity trader at a firm by the name of Schonfeld Securities.
The television across from my trading desk was turned to CNBC as it was every morning and sitting next to me, as he was every morning, was an older gentleman by the name of Dick.
When the news cut-in to announce that a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers it appeared from the footage that a small commuter jet had somehow veered off course and that it hadn’t done much damage.
How sadly wrong we were!
The story slowly started to become clearer over what seemed an eternity but was in fact only minutes. During that time Dick’s son, who worked in the other WTC tower, called his father to assure him that everything was fine.
Relieved, Dick wandered out to get coffee.
But before Dick got back the second plane had hit and we all realized that the unbelievable had happened and that the United States was under attack from who at that point was an unknown enemy.
We then sat transfixed to the screen and watched as the these two mammoth towers came down.
Dick’s son didn’t make it that day and Dick passed about a year later, no doubt due in part to a broken heart.
I left work to collect my three kids from school and put them in room with my only instruction that the television was not to be turned on.
I will never forget that day and can only hope that other than great events andoccasions there will be no more September 11’s indelibly stamped on my brain!
Unfortunately watching the news on CNBC this morning, September 11, 2014, I am not so sure that will be the case!
Written by Michael Haltman, President of Hallmark Abstract Service, New York.
HAS is a provider of title insurance in New York State for residential and commercial real estate transactions specializing in the areas of New York City, Long Island and Westchester.
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If you have any questions you can reach Michael by email at email@example.com.Google+