This time of year always reminds me of how a beautiful moment in life can be followed by such deep sorrow. As many of you know my son John was born on September 10, 2001. It was one of the best moments of my life, becoming a father for the first time.
Although, I worked the 4 to 12 shift then, I always say John was my Guardian Angel. I was on a scheduled vacation right after his birth. My childhood friend John Odland called me at home to tell me about the first tower being hit. We both watched the second tower get struck on TV. We knew at that moment all members of the NYPD were going to be called in, so we hung up to call our commands.
I was a Sergeant assigned to the 67th Precinct. I called the Precinct and asked where they needed me to report. My bosses at the time told me to go to the hospital (St Vincent's now RUMC) first to see my wife and son. I tried calling the hospital but could not get through.
We lived in Brooklyn at the time. I drove over the Verrazzano Bridge with my shield out the window to the hospital. I hugged my wife and held John.
Like many of you, I had the overwhelming feeling to do whatever I could to help. That day and many weeks that followed remain forever etched in our memories.
I am sure there are hundreds of similar stories. But for the Grace of God. Never Forget!
God Bless all who perished and may we continue to pray for all those who continue to battle with 9/11 related illnesses.