It was a sunny morning. I woke up, got together my breakfast and coffee and just as I sat down to eat, the phone rang.

I let out a sigh and wondered who’d be calling before business hours. Just a normal scene, a normal interruption, a normal day.

Then, I answered the phone.

My mother was on the other end and she was hysterical. She lives on the East Coast. I’m not the first one she should be calling in an emergency, I thought. She also was never prone to hysteria. She had lived under bombing raids in World War II.

“How can they do that? How could they do something like that?” she screamed.

I thought that maybe one of my siblings had been hurt by some attacker, but I had no clue what she was talking about.

When I calmed her down, she was able to tell me of the events that morning, she had forgotten the time difference. I had not turned on a television or a radio, so I hadn’t heard about the collapse of the World Trade Center after a group of Muslim zealots slammed airplanes into the Twin Towers.

None of us will forget that day 12 years ago. We’ll honor the spirit of the first responders, curse the hatred that led to the attack, and realize how much our lives have been changed.

— Salvatore Caputo


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