A poignant remembrance of Septmber 11, 2001
14 September 2020
In honor of 9/11, here is a personal photo of the Manhattan skyline that I have not shared before that I took back in the Fall of 1992 from the rooftop of our Brooklyn apartment on 111 Hicks Street. Neil and I had married that year and this was our first apartment together as a married couple in New York City.
The people on the rooftop here were my colleagues visiting from the Wisconsin-based firm I worked for back then (Ultratec). I had opened an office on the 79th floor of Tower 1 of the World Trade Center for that firm, so then in February of 1993 my office was bombed by Al Queda. I was away on business (in Wisconsin) that day, but many of my officemates at WTC were there and to this day have ongoing health problems from breathing in smoke and soot from that explosion.
Since then, I have made it my business to study Al Queda and Islam to try to understand why we were targeted. That is why when my husband called me from his Wall Street firm in Manhattan on September 11th 2001 to tell me about the first plane hitting the WTC I replied, "what do you bet that damn Osama Bin Laden is behind this?" Then my husband had to hang up because there was yelling about a second plane, so I ran to turn on the news in my home and saw the horror for myself.
Minutes later I had the American flag up on our house as I worried about my husband getting home safely and the safety my of former colleagues on the 79th floor (whom I later learned never made it to safety that day). My friend Olabisi Layeni Yee (38 years old) was killed by jihadists that day. She left behind a husband and their two children who had to grow up without their mother. It was a terrible day in history which I will never forget. Today it seems especially important to remember (as history is being revised and erased) that this happened and it shattered thousands of innocent lives. I will never forget.
— Cynthia Hanson Roeth
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