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9/11 Anniversary

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       Nineteen years ago today it was a beautiful day a perfect september beginning of fall day . I was working in lower Manhattan a couple blocks away from the World Trade Center. I was supposed to be shooting that day as an advertising photographer in my Rep's studio. As I was driving downtown, I started seeing smoke from the North Tower and I turned on the radio to hear that a "small plane" had flown into it. This was right before 9 am, the time I was due in the studio. I got there and into the building as the fire seemed far away and not that serious. I remember getting upstairs and seeing my subjects very nervous and making calls. Then the building we were in shuddered and the world as we knew it changed forever, the second plane had hit the South Tower.  
       The boss of my subjects looked at me and stated in high anxiety that we had to cancel. I remember accepting the news calmly as the sirens and chaos in the streets overwhelmed my desire to make a living. I followed my clients out to the street where we were confronted by the true horror of the situation. I stopped to look up and saw him: a light brown-haired caucasian man in his early 30s, dressed in a sandy colored suit, get off to a running start and launch himself out of one of the burning holes many stories up in the air. He swam wildly through the air as he plummeted and disappeared behind 7 World Trade Center. I heard officials have tried to ID those poor souls who chose to jump instead of breath in liquid fire and burn to death, but have no idea if this man whose final terrifying moments I witnessed was ever identified.
       There was a professional mid 30s black woman standing next to me who said loudly in a horrified voice "what was that?" I turned to hear and said "that was a man," and I could see in her face that she could literally not believe her eyes. None of us could. Nearly 20 years later and I still can't. Our thoughts are with all those who lost their lives on or because of that terrible day, their families, and those that live on with the indelible trauma.
 
We will never forget you,
AS

 

NEVER FORGET


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