September 11th, 2001
Our lives changed on September 11th, 2001 at 08:56. This is when the first terrorist attack took place in Tower #1 in downtown Manhattan. Our lives haven’t been the same since.
Many of our champion youth registered for military service immediately after or in the next few years. An honorable duty by out-standing men. They are now starting to retire as their 20 years are up.
I remember that morning, like it was yesterday. I was getting ready to go to the studio for a screen writing class, I heard on the John Gambling radio show that an airplane had just crashed into the World Trade Center Tower #1. So, I immediately switched on the TV and called my wife.
When she answered, I told her what had just happened. She thought I was kidding. As we talked the second plane hit Tower #2 and I told her. I knew it was an terrorist attack and called the Chief (my friend Jack Dempsey) at the Morris Sheriff’s Department. I knew they probably would be going in and wanted to help. No dice however.
Knowing I couldn’t get in, I went on to my class. As I drove I came to the light at Park Avenue and Columbia Turnpike. Waiting at the red light while heading south, I looked to my left and all I could see over the hills in the South Mountain Reservation were the tops of the towers burning with their smoke flowing south.
At this time (09:15), there still wasn’t any mention of attacks on the Pentagon (09:43) or the crash Shanksville, PA (10:06). The towers went down before I got out of class (Tower 2 at 09:59 & Tower 1 at 10:28). I immediately went home to see the horrors on TV.
As the Towers were falling, some of our American young men and women thought of President John F. Kennedy’s famous words, “Ask not what the country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.” And they reacted and did the nobel thing, they enlisted.
Life since then has not even remotely been the same. Sadly, some of the “9/11 Veterans” were sent to Iraq and Afghanistan where they fought valiantly with some dying or being wounded.
We all lost friends that day. It hit us much harder than those outside this general multi-state area. Let us, at this time of the year, keep those in our prayers.
The Slattery Detachment lost a gallant member while fighting with the Marines in Iraq - L/Cpl Chris Cosgrove III. Chris joined the Marines and us after graduating from Monmouth University. Always keep Chris in your prayers and thoughts.
God Bless them and never forget 9/11.