September 11, 2001
I'm sure there isn't one of us who will ever forget where we were on one of the darkest days for our country. I was watching the news on a local New York channel and they were the only ones, at that point, who were carrying the report of the first plane crashing into the Trade Center. At first it appeared to be some sort of tragic accident, perhaps a pilot losing control of the plane, and it wasn't immediately obvious that it was a commercial airliner. Some eyewitnesses were identifying it as something more like a small private plane (which is why anybody who works in law enforcement will tell you that the majority of people are notoriously unreliable witnesses). But, at the moment the second plane slammed into that building, my first thought was about my brother, who worked near the Trade Center, although mercifully I didn't know it was just a block away, but the second was that it was Osama bin Laden's handiwork. Why? It was simple. He alone had both the motivation and the resources to carry out such an audacious attack. Why so many people who should have known better seemed to be so muddled (as if there were some long list of culprits who could have been behind such a devastating attack) I'll never know. Sadly, though, it seemed to foreshadow what was apparently a serious intelligence failure. But, today I want to remember the victims and their families, and I want to remember the Twin Towers the way they looked from my office window...and I want to remember how lucky we were that my brother was just far enough away.