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9/11 — A parent’s recollection

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By this time we know that the 9/11 remembrance ceremonies at Milton and Cambridge High Schools were cancelled due to Hurricane Irma. However, the date, Sept. 11, 2001, will live on in infamy along with Dec. 7, 1941 and Nov. 22, 1963. Anyone who was alive on those dates will forever remember where they were and what they were doing. I can remember the second and last dates. I could take you to the very spot on earth where I learned of the assassination of President Kennedy. I can even recall the discussions and with whom I was with on 9/11.

My most vivid recollection is that our twin boys were in Manhattan on Sept. 11. Matthew was in Chelsea, 10 blocks to the north of Ground Zero. My wife and I didn’t hear from him until nearly midnight. Mark was in the No. 1 Financial Center, across the street from the Twin Towers. Fortunately, he vacated the building immediately and began walking home in the company of thousands of others. Both our sons made it home safely. Nearly 3,000 others sadly did not. For their families, the sense of loss never ends.

So many milestones in life are associated with tragedy and death. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, too, brought great trauma. Perhaps it is only human that we associate our mortality with the losses, and the sacrifices that make up our lives. One of the positive aspects of those tragic events is that it tends to bring us together. Let us pray for those whose lives have been changed and are now faced with rebuilding. Hurricanes blow away. Lives slip away before us, but the memories linger. Let us not forget.


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