15 Years Ago Today, a personal connection

9/11 Memorial, Tower 1 - New York, New York

9/11 Memorial, Tower 1 – New York, New York

Yesterday in my post, I talked about shooting often because the world is constantly changing. Today’s post seems apropos, on an anniversary of a major, tragic event in American History.

15 years ago today, terrorists attacked New York City and Washington DC. The impact of those attacks and the ensuing events are, I’m sure, an inflection point in world history. What you may not know is that New York City is my home town. I was born and raised there until I was 18, after which I left for college. I no longer consider myself a New Yorker, after leaving some 34 years ago, but there are certainly ties. I had family and friends in New York on September 11, 2001. I’m happy to report that none of my personal connections to 9/11 have tragic endings. They are happy stories. I think you will find them interesting.

My younger sister and my parents lived in New York City, back then. In fact, my sister and her family lived in lower Manhattan, less than a mile away from ground zero. She lived in the area that was blocked from pubic access and it took her a week until she could get back home. She was 8 1/2 months pregnant.

A couple of weeks after the attack, she gave birth to my nephew in a hospital located within the restricted zone. Late that night, my father rushed to the hospital but was blocked from entering the area. A NYC Police Officer at the barricade, identified my father by name, and escorted him to the hospital. In a city of 8 million people, police don’t typically get to interact with citizens by name. Out of the tragedy that was 9/11, I heard the people in NYC were amazing during those tough times.

My second story is about my friend, Alex, from high school, who worked at the World Trade Center. He is super dedicated and my friends and I all agree that he would have stayed in the building and ignored any evacuation warnings. Luck would have it for Alex, that his daughter was sick that morning and he took her to the doctor. While he normally would have been at the office during the attack, that doctor’s visit changed his world.

This photograph is from the 9/11 memorial. Two powerful and contemplative fountains are built on the footprints of the twin towers. I shot this back in 2012 with the Olympus E-PL1 with the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 lens.

I’m sure there are many stories tied to that event 15 years ago. Many tragic, unfortunately. But some are uplifting. These are the times, on key anniversaries, when we need to take stock of all that we have. Annoyances that may seem important, melt away when put into the right context.

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2 thoughts on “15 Years Ago Today, a personal connection

  1. Wow, an amazing story Andy…totally connected. Excellent and strong photo too! The whole event is still hard to believe after all these years. Peace!

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