I know a lot of people who can share stories of those they lost on the morning of September 11, 2001. There are also countless stories of those who consider themselves lucky. One of my prior co-workers had a ticket for the first flight to crash but had to trade for a different flight because his mother was sick.
But not everyone was lucky.
I could spend a year writing stories just from people I've spoken with first hand who knew someone they lost that day. Fathers and mothers losing their children, brothers or sisters losing siblings, wives and husbands who lost their spouses and children who lost parents.
I could write a book about the feelings I had when I traveled to NY City just a few days after seeing police blocking off several roads in the city and the dust that still hung in the air. Remembering fire departments with memorials set up showing pictures of the brave men and women they lost chokes me up even today.
My fraternity lost two of its national members that day. I didn't know either of them personally but over the years I've had the chance to speak with people who did.
Robert Tipaldi was 25 and worked on the 104th floor of the North Tower. He pledged Alpha Phi Delta in 1994 at Saint John's University
The other was Christopher Mozzillo, who was 27 at the time. Christopher pledged Alpha Phi Detla in 1993 also from Saint John's University. Christopher was one of the brave fire fighters who rushed into the building while others were running to safety.
These are just two of the many people lost that day, taken before their time.
Take a moment today to pray for their families and loved ones, or the families and loved ones of those you may have known or had close connections to and reflect on your own memories of what happened on this day back in 2001.