9-11 Ten Years Later
ORIGINALLY POSTED 9/7/11–This week is the 10th anniversary of 9-11. I suppose we all remember where we were. I was eleven days into a new job at the University of Texas System. I had a good friend in New York then and I recall trying to call him on my cell phone with trembling hands. Between busy signals the calls to his work and cell phone went unanswered. I finally found him at home in Queens. My call broke the news. He flipped on the television and we silently shared the collapse over telephonic miles. As I sat in my office looking at the beautiful Texas flag flying outside my window, I didn’t want to hang up. I breathed a quiet prayer of thanks that I found my friend. Many others, I know, never found theirs.
Later, a wave of dizziness passed over me when I remembered that right before I got the job at UT I had been actively seeking to relocate to NYC. I sent many resumes to the east coast and once spoke to a recruiter from Morgan Stanley who wanted to interview me. Although they wouldn’t pay for me to relocate, he told me to keep his information and to call and schedule an interview when I got there. Morgan Stanley occupied no less than twenty floors in Two World Trade Center, the highest being the 74th floor; United flight 175 hit right at floors 77-85. I wonder if the man I spoke with made it out; I wish I remembered his name.
That day changed my life. That was when “homeland security” came into being and when my job at UT, protecting sensitive documents from release, took on greater significance. That’s when I found out that sometimes the greater good is truly greater. That’s when I decided I would do my job so as to become one more brick in our country’s wall of defense. As a future attorney, that’s the kind of job I want—one that makes a difference, one that means something. For all its imperfections, America is still the best country on earth.