September 11, 2001, I was packing for another trip, to go on yet another plane. I was wishing that I didn’t have to go because I had just gotten off a plane a couple of days ago. As I stood in the living room packing the bags, I was watching Good Morning America, when I saw a small plane hit the first World Trade Center Tower. I thought those poor people; the pilot must have made a mistake. Then a few minutes later, the announcer said that it was passenger airline.
My eyes were riveted to the television as I stopped packing. When they announced that it was a hijacked plane, my heart sank. The horror of this flooded in and tears started to stream down my face. I couldn’t believe it. Then I saw the picture of another plane hitting another tower; another surreal and painful hit and instant loss of lives. I started calling everyone I could to find out if any of my friends or associates where in the buildings or in the area.
I used to work in the area for a few years with MCI. The World Trade Center was in my territory. Some of my clients were in those Towers. I remember the first time I visited a client on the 103rd floor; I was amazed by the speed of the elevator and the little flutter I got when it stopped. I stood in awe of the view outside her window and thought: “what man can build from his imagination.” September 11, 2001 demonstrated what man could destroy because of hatred of another.
I finally was able to reach one of my friends, Bebe. She told me she had to walk for miles from the WTC site to her home in Harlem. She was covered with soot and very tired. She told me about people jumping out of windows to their deaths. Her building was near the towers and she felt the building shaking as they towers crumbled. Her building was in darkness. Bebe told me that we lost a friend, Clyde Frazier in one of the towers.
We went to school with Clyde at SUNY, Albany. Clyde always had a smile on his face and pleasant personality. Clyde died helping others get off the floor where they worked. His co-workers who survived this awful event said that he refused to leave because he wanted to make sure everyone got out. That is just the way he was, always considerate of others.
I still cannot watch the replays of the videos or movies about 9-11. It is too painful to feel the scar, which covers the wound of that day, being stripped away again… Instead I choose to remember the Clyde Fraziers who sacrifice their lives so others may live. I choose to live and give tribute to the people that are in the armed forces and the first responders who defend our freedom, this country and its citizens. I choose Never To Forget!