100 Court Plaza
Asheville, NC 28801
As much as I have tried, I could never forget September 11, 2001. I left Asheville the night before, and woke up in a penthouse on Myrtle Beach while on vacation with my family. My son Joseph was flipping through the television channels. I saw the Twin Towers on fire and thought at first that it was a movie. Then after clearing my eyes, I realized we were under attack and lives were being lost. I immediately called my mother from the other room. She was a retired Fire Department New York (FDNY) Firefighter, so it was her friends who were fighting the blaze, attempting to rescue people, and would later lose their lives in the process.
Then the towers came down. There was silence in our room. In NYC, my step-dad, a retired Fire Marshall with the FDNY, was walking his dog along the river in the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn and watched it live. My uncle was in the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and had to run for his life to escape the smoke and debris from the collapse. This day was a day that many of us thought we would never recover from. And for some that was true. Little did I know that one of my best friends from our teenage years, Shannon, was in the first tower that got hit. She picked up the phone immediately to call her husband Frank and son Joseph to tell them that she loved them, only a moment before all phone lines were cut. We never heard from her again. I write this with tears in my eyes for you Shannon, my true friend through thick and thin while we were trying to grow up in that concrete jungle.
Today we look back in pain and love, knowing that these were all of our people that were lost. Americans who believed in a free country and world. All of us lost so much on that day. Mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, family, friends, and people who had so much life in them and ahead. We ask you to please stand with us today in remembrance to represent and honor our fallen neighbors and loved ones.