Video: Remembering 9/11

I don’t pretend 9/11 affects me in any particular way. I didn’t know anyone who died in the tragic attacks of that day nor did I know anyone who was injured. But as the years pass, I have become the father of three young children that now ask what happened that day, that Tuesday morning in September when everyone rushed to their TV sets to see a second plane fly into the World Trade Center and the days afterward when airplanes stopped flying in the sky at all.

That day, I was getting ready to drive to work in Arlington Heights. I was in the shower that morning when Mike Murphy from The Score sports radio announced that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I was dressed and watching from a bedroom television as the second plane struck.

My oldest child is 9 and has been learning about 9/11 in school. My wife and I took the kids to New York City in July to see Ground Zero, the current 9/11 memorial and the Statue of Liberty. The last time I was in New York City around 30 years ago, my family went to the top of one of the World Trade Center towers on the observation deck. It was one of the coolest things I remember about our trip. You could take an escalator to go on the roof and look out across Manhattan from a platform surrounded by electrical fencing to prevent suicide attempts.

On Sunday, our local Tri-State Fire Protection department held a brief 9/11 memorial outside the Plainfield Road station. There is a permanent tribute to 9/11 there. Years ago, the department received an I-beam from one of the fallen towers and has put the beam on permanent display with an eternal flame.

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