I published this last year and will only change the first line as it still rings honest in my thoughts . . .
No high school lacrosse player was alive when this happened. Watching video after the fact can’t capture fully the mood we felt as a nation watching the day unfold. The sport you played produced some heroes that day as well as some heartache. None of your parents will ever forget this day, it is our generation’s Pearl Harbor. Like so many of us I lost a close friend that day in the South Tower. Thankfully, my brother decided to go to the gym early that day in his New Jersey home and didn’t head out to his office, where he would have had to exit the transit under the WTC. One friend did make it out of the Towers that day.
20 years ago.
Luckily working from the house for the first Tuesday in many weeks. The routine back then was to get on a plane on Sunday and fly to the project and back home on Friday afternoon. My brother had flown down to Miami to make a presentation and decided to come back late Monday night and sleep in before he would go into the office at 40 Wall Street.
Conference call with one of the partners and another firm, talking about a proposal we were jointly preparing.
As the call ended the moderator mentioned “I just heard a plane flew into one of the World Trade Center towers.”
Many years before a small plane had hit the Empire State Building as it was engulfed in fog for a number of the top floors but that plane barely dented the building and the lone pilot was the only casualty.
I immediately turned on the TV and was facing a picture I’ve never imagined possible, outside of a Tom Clancy novel. His novel, Debt of Honor, ends with a plane crashing into the Capitol Building during the President’s State of the Union address, and after reading the book the Secret Service started the practice of making sure some members of the government did not attend the annual speech, and that is in practice today. That novel was published in 1994.
It also was apparent that if it was an accident it certainly wasn’t because of fog, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.
And if there was any question that was put to rest when all of us watching saw the second plane hit the other Tower not long after the first. Those who were watching the first tower from nearby in lower Manhattan has that image burned permanently in their minds and it’s not a leap of faith to assume there’s still nightmares experienced 19 years later.
The victims were not discriminated against. White, Black, Brown and all in between. Jewish, Christian, Catholic, Muslim, Sikh, Atheist, Agnostic . . . none were spared. Male, female, old and young.
Not all were victims of the impact of the planes. Some died later of respiratory problems. And some decided to commit suicide even before the towers imploded by jumping off the burning building. One couple even jumped together.
You will never see that video on a network news show ever again . . . even they have that much decency.
The Pentagon was next on the list and that did enough carnage too.
But one group of American citizens decided not to go down without a flight and you can see their story in the movie United 93. Looking back we can say they were the first soldiers in the War on Terror.
All of us who lived through this day hope never to go through one like it again.
An awful lot of the growth of lacrosse down here was built on the backs of the Long Island lacrosse world.
A lot of them played against Eamon in high school or college, or ran into him at some point.
Not many got the best of him.
National Hall of Fame. Cornell Hall of Fame. Uniform retired by them. Most Outstanding Player of the 1977 NCAA title game. 1977 NCAA Player of the Year.
Kids, if you notice Chris Kane reffing a game of yours, ask him about Eamon. He was a teammate and fellow HOF member.
He worked for Cantor Fitzgerald, a financial firm that held the highest floors (101 to 105 of One WTC). Not one employee on those 5 floors got out alive.
Richie Moran’s wonderful autobiography (parents, a nice book to buy your playing kid as well as for you) spent a lot of time on Eamon.
46 years old.
Turn on ESPN at some point today and you’ll likely see Welles Crowther’s story, which was covered in an ESPN film, The Man In The Red Bandana.
I challenge you to watch it without tearing up . . . don’t bother debating it, you will.
Boston College puts on their Red Bandana celebration/remembrance each year.
24 years old. Gave his life to save others.
“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15-13
Former Duke lacrosse player, class of 1987.
Ortale, from Philadelphia, overlapped Lenoir by one year at Duke. He arrived in the fall of 1983, Lenoir’s senior season, and went on to letter for the lacrosse program for four years, 1984-87. He earned All-ACC honors as a junior, served as one of the team captains as a senior and made the North-South game as one of the top seniors in the country. Duke won 11 games in each of his last two years, the first time the school had ever posted double-digit victory totals. Near the end of Ortale’s senior year, the Devils defeated Virginia and North Carolina in back-to-back games, breaking a streak of 10 straight winless years in ACC play.
There are others, I suggest each of you search one out