After breakfast, my wife dropped me off at the station and I took the train into New York City, smiling the whole way. I’m sure I looked out of place among the cranky faces of the other commuters who were beaten down by the many hours they had spent getting in and out of the city at such a cost. But nothing could bother me that day—I had regained control of my life and I felt nothing but love inside. I felt great!
I made it into New York City, got on the subway, and, instead of being in my office, I was still underground when the first plane slammed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, into my floor, hitting my desk! The morning I had chosen to have breakfast with my family was Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Yes—that is how fast it can happen. That is how unexpectedly it can come. We don’t have endless tomorrows.
When I exited the subway, I stood across the street from the building, watching, as if it were a movie, not truly believing that on any other day, it would have been me up there. I couldn’t imagine what it must have been like on the inside—that view I had known so well, up on the 96th floor.
Since that view will never be known again, I’m going to share a little bit of what it was like working from such a majestic viewpoint.
On windy days, you could feel the building sway slightly and could often look outside of the window and see small planes and helicopters flying well below you. But there was never any fear. The sunsets from up there were some of the most magnificent I’d ever seen—the whole left half of the floor would turn orange and red as the sun beamed through uninterrupted—so much so that most times people would have to lower the shades in order to see their computer screens, many times annoyed and complaining about having to do so. Thinking back now, that seems absurd—shutting out nature’s miracle in order to salvage fifteen more minutes of staring into a lifeless screen. But at the time, it seemed all too normal.
Now, that beautiful view is gone forever.
So there I stood, from a less familiar, outside-in perspective, looking up at my world that had a gaping hole where I should have been, not being able to comprehend what had happened and whom it had happened to. My perspective had shifted on September 10th when I had had a vision of having breakfast with my family. On September 11th, that perspective was solidified, never to reverse.Download Article 1K Club