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This is not going to be your usual post…

This is not going to be your usual post…

This post has nothing to do about blogging – except that in writing about a topic close to my heart, I’m really writing about the core essence of blogging.

I’m in New York City on a two day trip – and as I believe is appropriate when visiting the greatest city in the world – one should take a few moments to visit the hole in the ground that once held two of the tallest buildings in the world – and where nearly 3,000 of my fellow citizens were killed. Nearly 400 of which were police, firemen, and other rescue personnel.

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No matter one’s political view – 9/11 is an event that has changed many of our lives – personally, professionally, and spiritually in many cases. It’s hard to fathom or think back to a time before 9/11 and how things were different, almost more innocent perhaps.

One photo and story that has always stuck with me about 9/11 is this picture that I first saw months after 9/11 in Dennis Smith’s book Report from Ground Zero.

It’s a photo of Lt. Ray Murphy of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY). He was walking away from the cameraman following the collapse of the first WTC Tower. He was shaken and probably felt lucky to be alive. He had just recovered from that tower collapse and was headed into the still standing WTC tower in order to help others.

Lt. Ray Murphy - 9/11

He was killed in the collapse of that tower.

This picture has always reminded me of both heroism and sacrifice given freely by the men and women of the FDNY, NYPD, PAPD, and others that day —

In the end, I think we all have the responsibility to remember what happened that day – to us – to our fellow man – here in our own country.

A few weeks ago, while having coffee with a dear friend in Minneapolis, our conversation steered towards the impact of September 11th on our lives – both personally and professionally.

She pulled out her PDA – tapped on it a few times – and spun it around so that I could read it.

It was her calendar – turned to September 11th, 2006 – and it showed just one word:

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Yesterday, at St. Paul’s Chapel just across the street from the World Trade Center, at the memorial wall where one could leave a note.. I scrawled my own simple reminder to myself.

I have not forgotten.

FDNY Memorial - WTC

I’m not really sure why I chose to post this here… except to say that sometimes we all get caught up and emotional about things like “Blog Network Wars” and “Who’s business model is better than another’s?” or “Why isn’t Karl Rove indicted?”.

The reality is that none of that really matters. And one only has to visit the World Trade Center to understand why.

View Comments (15)
  • I’m sure people won’t mind you posting this wonderful article here on Blog Herald.

    Nicely said Matt, nicely said indeed.

  • Matt,
    When I get back to the East Coast here in a few weeks. I reflect a lot. I use to go out to the World Trade Center about once a week. It’s a great place to meditate and to realize the shortness of life and to reflect on the sacrifices that so many have given for other people.

  • Very well said, Matt.

    No matter one’s political view – 9/11 is an event that has changed many of our lives – personally, professionally, and spiritually in many cases.

    That ‘s what gets me: the whole thing has been hijacked by politics since then – I don’t think they (the murderous scum) cared which political persuasion you came from.

    Personally, I will never forget.

    Thanks Matt – good to see this written without any political slant.

  • Sorry I haven’t been able to comment as I was still in NYC – and then the victim of a wonderfully delayed flight. Ugh.

    In any event, 9/11 has never been about politics to me – coming from a family with a long military and law enforcement tradition, 9/11 was about understanding the heroism of ordinary people – but also of the people that knew what they were getting themselves into when they climbed on the fire truck in Brooklyn and rode across the bridge into Manhattan that morning – looking at the burning towers.

    9/11’s been more philosophical to me than anything else. Besides, my politics views are already well known :)

    Thanks for all of the kind words,

  • Matt,
    Thank you for the wonderful post. The symbolism of 9/11 rings true for me as well. I had been in Newark a few weeks before 9/11 on a business trip, and when flying out back to Minneapolis, I had a perfect view of the twin towers reflecting the setting sun. A beutiful site that was etched in my mind at the time, but I only reflected on a month later

    I also will never forget.

  • Thanks for writing about remembering. I certainly wasn’t expecting to read something like this until September came around again, when many people are sparked to write their recollections of 9/11. Anyway, thanks.

  • I can’t forget. I refuse to forget.

    In fact, Lt. Murphy’s picture above sits on my desk every day to remind me that I can’t forget.


  • I visited Ground Zero myself back in November 2003.
    I will never forget the feelings of outrage, anger and sorrow I felt that day.
    And as a visitor from abroad, I think it brought home just how real terrorism and its repercussions are for Americans. God bless America.

  • And yet we have to move on. Youngsters born in the past five years will see 9/11 as “history”, not as that heart-stopping moment when we watched the planes crashing into the towers and shared the incomprehension of the onlookers with their gasps of disbelief.

    Nature heals over the wounds however bad they are. The same is true of New Orleans, another monumental catastrophe for America we have to be reminded of to remember it actually happened.

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