For me it is still a difficult day; the dread seeps in the moment Labor Day is over. I find it hard to go on with business as usual as September 11th approaches. I know many people who died that day, but none were close to me. I had many friends who were near the World Trade Center that day and the stories they shared, left me feeling weak and numb. This year, I was relieved to learn that our local North Central Jersey Board of Realtors was seeking volunteers to help rehab some properties for people in need. In 2015, along with thirteen colleagues from my office at Towne Realty Group, I will take off from real estate and donate my time to Realtors Care Day.
Fourteen years later and life goes on. Kids go to school, people go to work, we turn on the news and have a moment of silence for the victims at the moment the first plane crashed. If we have time, we listen to (some of) the names being read off by various family members who lost a beloved relative. As I do every year, I will watch TV in the morning to hear the annual role call of the people who never returned. Here are the plans for the day for anyone who has time to focus on something besides work on Friday, 9/11/15.
The pain and sadness has faded a little each year, but the hollow hole in my heart never fully heals. I look at the Manhattan skyline without crying. The Freedom Tower at One World Trade Center, is a shining beacon, bold in the distance from so many places from my vantage point in North Jersey. Memorials have been erected all over the tri-state area where we can remember the fallen. Innocent victims, terrorists who flew the planes, first-responders who gave their lives to save others. Its a long list of strangers, but eight men died from my hometown, and their memory lives on at a memorial in Taylor Park. I go there quite often to collect my thoughts and remember these men. I post photos on my facebook pages and remind people to pay their respects.
There were new or unborn babies who never met the victims of the attacks on 9/11/2001; they are all teenagers now. Others have gone off to college, gotten married and become parents themselves, all without that special someone who never came home that day. Movies were made, books were written, songs were sung and magazines, newspapers and facebook have shared millions of memories of these missing lives.
For the eight men in Millburn-Short Hills, I promise to #NeverForget you.
Rest in peace: In memory of Mark Charette, Tommy Clark, Steven Lilianthal, Richard Madden, Patrick Murphy, Don Peterson, Ian Schneider, Frank Spinelli. Today and every day, we are holding you in the light and keeping your family in our prayers.
On facebook there is a group that honors Thomas Richard Clark and if you go to the World Trade Center Memorial, you can also find his name. Here are some of the other local memorials in Summit, NJ at Reeves-Reed Arboretum, at Centennial Park in New Providence, NJ and the 9-11 Memorial at the Eagle Rock Reservation in West Orange, NJ.