Dear QI subscribers,
We are a People of Amazing Grace who have not permitted the passage of time to besmirch the price paid by 2,977 patriots 18 years ago today. We have not forgotten.
Back then, I was a happy New Yorker who could never conceive such devastation. The only stress I knew was fanciful in retrospect. The pressure cooker of being in sales on Wall Street held nothing to what was to come. We naively enjoyed a backdrop of perfect peace in our country. Our generation was one war had never visited. We innocents lived as freely as we imagined we were.
On that perfect Tuesday morning, I walked part of the way to the office. I was not alone but joined by hordes taking in the blistering blindness of the blue sky. It would have been a perfect day for flying. But enemies of God, the state and mankind were in cockpits that morning, the first inklings of which we learned of at our desks. CNBC’s Mark Haines initial interruption went largely unnoticed. And then the second plane hit.
In the years that have since passed, we have fought back, defied the beasts, and rebuilt to the heavens. The Freedom Tower has become my visual touchstone, rising a symbolic 1776 feet into the sky. Its 200 x 200-foot base is identical to those of the Twin Towers whose footprints are forever memorialized, etched with every single name of the victims robbed from us that day. The new One World Trade Center can never replace the original or its sister. But the glorious architectural feat can stand proud as a reminder that we did not let the bastards get us down.
At 8:46 am EST, I will, as I’ve done every year, stop and pay tribute to the fallen as the ceremony gets underway that recites their names, one by one. We are all duty bound to do the same.
The tragedy of 9/11 did not end at 10:28 am when the North Tower collapsed. Recognizing this, today also honors the lives of the yet unknown, countless thousands who have followed. The 9/11 Memorial features a new addition, a sculptural salute inlaid with steel salvaged from the wreckage dedicated, “to those whose actions in our time of need led to their injury, sickness, and death.” I shall be visiting this addition on my next trip to New York. I invite you to do the same.
Years ago, I applied my God-given gift of writing to do what little I could to Never Forget. The product of that effort is Angels Manning Heaven’s Trading Floors. Many of you have read this. Many of you have not. It is painful for me, but I re-read it every year. Please share this with whomever you like. I am humbled for it.
This year, I also share with you a photo that is very special to me. It shows the Freedom Tower at night shining through the World Trade Center Oculus. The image marries the two testaments of our ability to rebuild, to our very resilience and the faith we hold in the good our country can be. I like to think that today’s tower that kisses the sky is accessible by the blessed traders looking down upon us, an easy step from the heavens they can reach in defiance of the steps they could not take up to escape their fates 18 years ago.
We once were lost, but now are found. We have not forgotten. We never will.
Danielle DiMartino Booth is CEO and Director of Intelligence at Quill Intelligence
For a full archive of my writing, please visit my website — www.DiMartinoBooth.com
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