Today marks twelve years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center here in New York City, and many innocent lives came to a tragic, premature end. Today is also the first 9/11 that my brother is not here to see.
My Ed was a worry wart; he got it from our mother. In 2008, when I accepted a job offer here in New York, he was worried about my safety in light of the 9/11 attacks, as well as what he’d heard in general about crime in New York (which he realized after visiting twice that it’s nowhere as bad as it used to be). As he was learning different moves in karate, he even set me aside a few times when I was home to show me basic self-defense moves in the event that I might be accosted. Apparently, he didn’t think I took it seriously enough, so he made me redo the moves over and over and over. It drove me crazy, but I knew then, as I do now, that he was dead serious about my knowing how to protect myself.
“Will you remember what I taught you?” he asked. “This is important. You need to remember this.”
Yes, Ed. I remember. I will always remember what you taught me, even the things you didn’t realize you taught me.