The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

11 August 2003

Taking stock 30 days early

It's a month before the anniversary of the date which will live in infamy as "9/11", and I admit to having given the matter little thought.

In the meantime, Michele reminds us:

In our haste to get back to "normal" we forgot how to stay together. The spark that lit our souls and made us vow to be united become a dull ember, growing darker and darker until no one even remembered it had existed.

We failed to take the single most important lesson from that day with us when we climbed out of our blackness. We did come together, but we did not stay together. We went our separate ways and some turned their anger back on us and spit on us as we mourned.

Some stopped remembering. They stopped staring at the skies, waiting for the lion to awake once again. They stopped comforting each other and stopped thinking about that day.

It is a mistake to think the sleeping lion will always sleep. It is a mistake to think our enemies have spent their energy and will retreat forever. It is a grave mistake to turn from each other again and split this place in two, for that is what our enemy wants, and that's when he will wake and pounce again.

He laughs at us as the day slips farther and farther from our memories. The flags are battered and torn, the signs hanging over freeways broken and written over. He grins as his day of glory becomes less and less of a factor in our lives.

When we forget, we drop our resolve, we lose our strength and we open ourselves up to letting it happen again.

Just a reminder. It's here because I need it too.

Posted at 9:47 AM to Almost Yogurt


Some of us have not forgotten.

During the summer of 2001, I was unemployed due to the collapse of my previous employer, a startup company that had tried to make the world's most sophisticated and cost-effective EtherNet switch. I spent months trawling for interviews, and got one: at a Manhattan company that wanted to hire me but was under a hiring freeze, imposed by a corporate parent, until its 2nd quarter results were in. The VP for information technology thought I was just swell, and I really wanted to work there, but there was nothing she could do until the Uber-company lifted the hiring freeze.

Then came a fine Tuesday morning when, thanks to early mail delivery in my little hamlet, I was sitting at my desk with tears running down my face. That Manhattan company had extended me an offer, and for more money than I could have reasonably expected to make in a single year, ever in my life. My glorious reverie and thanksgiving were interrupted when my elder daughter came rushing in to say:

"Dad, an airplane just hit the World Trade Center!

For the next two hours, my entire family sat glued to the television coverage of the worst terrorist atrocity ever committed.

The job offer? Oh, yes. That was from Cantor Fitzgerald, which once occupied floors 101 through 105 of One World Trade Center. Cantor Fitzgerald lost 70% of its employees on that day. Had the job offer arrived two weeks earlier, I'd have been a victim of the Black Tuesday attack.

Later on, I learned that three dear friends died in the World Trade Center that horrible day.

Some of us cannot forget.

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at 4:59 PM on 11 August 2003

Francis, I'm speechless.

Posted by: McGehee at 6:53 AM on 12 August 2003