Anne and I live on a small horse farm located one hour between Ottawa, Canada’s capital, and Montreal, Canada’s second largest city.
Tonight, at 7:00 o’clock, friends will be arriving to pay their respects to all those who died, were injured and traumatized. And for all the friends and family of those who were at ground zero.
Our Canadian flag, on our 22′ pole, in the front of our home has been flying at half mast from the moment the reality of what happened was realized. The flag will remain at half mast until retribution has been paid. This morning, I will be purchasing a Stars and Stripes to fly proudly with the Canadian Maple Leaf.
Anne and I have a niece, Katherine, whom we love a great deal, whose first job in her young life at 23 years old was as an assistant manager at the Marriott World Trade Center.
When Marriott recently recruited Katherine, who finished at the top of her school in Miami (FIU), she insisted on a position at the World Trade Center. She wanted to be at the heart of the universe. All of us are very proud of her.
Moments after the first crash, my sister Carol, Katherine’s mother called in hysterics; and between sobs told me of the “accident”. I immediately ran to our television to watch in horror as the second plane hit. We knew then and there; this was no accident.
About 30 minutes later, Carol received a call from Katherine, who was seated on an Air Canada flight, stuck on the tarmac of La Guardia. Her plane was grounded. Katherine had worked extra hours, and on Labor Day, in order to get some extra time off, enabling her to come home to Montreal, to be with her family and friends for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.
Few people with loved-ones at ground zero have a story with a happy ending. But we all knew how we felt when the first plane hit, then the second, and then the third. And there was no word from Katherine.
The terrorists attacked far more than the United States of America on Tuesday. They attacked everything that is decent and wonderful in the world. Their day will come. Sooner – rather than later.