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Day-At-A-Glance: September 11, 2001

 I pray my hour-by-hour daybook entries for September 11, 2001 will have very little in common with yours, except that, to varying degrees, we were both spectators to the same drama.

I was a spectator to the international horror that played out in Manhattan on 9/11. Fate dealt me a ground zero box seat. Maybe someday I will be able to compose a commentary that is profound, now there is only this personal chronicle. Maybe keeping this diary is part of healing, yet today it is part my simmering rage. I always realized that we spend a very short time on Spaceship Earth, know I know first hand how instantly life can be snatched away.

I was up at 4:30 AM and made my way to Logan Airport’s Terminal B, US Air Shuttle. The area security was as it usually is. I purchased my ticket at the gate, boarded the plane and sat in seat 13A ten minutes before departure. USAir 6:00 A.M. Shuttle to LaGuardia was full; the flight was uneventful. After arriving at LaGuardia I walked downstairs to Elite Car Service, and shortly thereafter Town Car #354 pulled up to the curb and I got in. We crossed the river via the Midtown Tunnel and proceeded on FDR Drive to the World Trade center where we turned on to Liberty and pulled up, at 7:50 A.M., to the curb opposite my destination, 200 Liberty, World Financial Center.

I planned to meet my friend Scott Whitlock, a VP of CIBC Oppenheimer, at the top of the escalator in the lobby of 200 Liberty. He took the 6:30 Delta Shuttle from Boston. I recounted my timetable from Logan, and allowing an additional 15 minutes for him to get thorough a thicker part of NY’s rush hour, I made his ETA at 8:20ish. To kill time I walked around the South St. Park and was back at 200 Liberty by 8:20 A.M. I got a coffee at the top of the escalator and took up a perch where I had an easy and unobstructed view of the Liberty Street entrance. He couldn’t slip by.


At 8:30 A.M., Scott called in to report his plane was late and he would arrive in ten minutes, roughly at 8:40. He arrived and shelled out the forty bucks for the fare and tip and as he was about to ask for a receipt the first plane crashed into the World Trade Tower. I was at the top of the escalator in the lobby; he was in the street below.


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