Opinion: September 11th 2001…A Very Present Day
Photo: Mario Casabona Photo Credit: Courtesy Mario Casabona
Mario Casabona | Courtesy Mario Casabona

I woke up this morning with tears and until I got to the office I had been thinking about what happened on this day…September 11th. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. I was in our lab participating in a SatCom prototype test when suddenly we were watching a live satellite feed of the whole event unfolding. Here was the first plane, then the second plane, and then the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. We couldn’t believe our eyes. We saw unfiltered footage of people covered in ash running in amazement and in shock. It is probably one of the few days that has been kept in my brain’s permanent memory.

The tears were not of sadness although 13 years ago today was a very sad day for our Country. They were tears of pride. I was thinking of the individuals who have been missed by their families and friends. All the first responders who thought of others before themselves. All those service men and women who are ready to defend our country and freedom. All the average individuals ready to make sacrifices to help their neighbors as well as total strangers. All the politicians that for a brief period in time came together. All the support from the global community. All those U.S. flags flying proudly wherever I looked.

I was fortunate not to lose a friend or family member on that fateful day but I was definitely affected by that September 11th morning.  I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing…so yes I will always remember.

We all need to remember September 11th as one of the most horrific days in our history. We also need to remember that there have been other horrific days in our past.  Probably more than I can remember. We must remember that every day there are individuals who want to unravel our culture and freedom and we have endured all these challenging years. It is because of the sacrifices our ancestors, families and friends have made that we enjoy our freedom and culture. So often we forget how lucky we really are…as we deal with everyday challenges.

I’ll remember September 11th as the day on which a few individuals thought they could unravel our culture but instead we united and grew stronger. We demonstrated our unity by helping one another and proudly showing our resolve to survive and defend our freedom. Yes…many sacrificed their lives that day and they will live on in our hearts and memories forever.

Those tears I shed early in the day have been wiped away but those memories live on.

By a proud immigrant who cherishes his freedom, friends and family and most of all our United States of America.

[Mario Casabona is the CEO of TechLaunch, New Jersey's tech accelerator. He is also the founder of Casabona Ventures and one of the prime movers and shakers in the New Jersey Tech ecosystem. NJTechWeekly.com is proud to publish his thoughts today.]

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