It was a dreadful day, to say the least, and it remains so in my memory. Yet, there's a certain intrigue to the event that has captured our collective fascinations, and probably will for some time to come. It was the moment of a lifetime and will define many of us who have lived through it.
Watching the event unfold on television is how most all of us experienced that day ... September 11, 2001 ... and it is yet another day that truly will "live in infamy." At least one person I know, had a vision for the ages ... he witnessed the event, up-close & personal, from just a couple of blocks away.
Stevie Gagliano, age 55 - my cousin - was on his way to the World Trade Center, as he sometimes was, for a business meeting. Stevie is an architect by trade. For as long as I can remember, Stevie had a camera slung over his shoulder. Picked that up from his father. It would be no different on this very different day.
The thing about these meetings, Stevie would tell me later, is that they invariably run late. So, despite the fact that his scheduled get-together was at 8:30AM, he decided to stop in at Starbuck's, just a short distance away, for a cup of java. It was a stroke of good fortune ... and he's not even Irish!
While in the coffee shop, he heard a God-awful roar and then the loudest crash he'd ever heard. As most everyone else who was within earshot did, he spilled out to the street to see what it was that had happened. He wasn't prepared for the gruesome reality he saw, but there it was, right in front of his face. He took out his camera, and began to shoot pictures. What he saw follows in the 30 shots below. For me, though I'd seen the images of this terror countless times before, it was a whole new perspective to see it now through the eyes of one I'd grown up with. - Rich Federici, March 23, 2002