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911 Remembered



On the morning of 9-11, I was at Hobby airport. I was in line to get my boarding pass when the second plane hit. After that, all flights were cancelled.

I had an older friend in college named Rich Aranow. He was a law student. Later he became a lawyer at the NY Port Authorty.
On 9-11, Rich was killed in one of the towers when they were attacked. Rich was a good guy with a wife and baby.

After 911, when my brother Andy’s play opened, I went to NY. One night, I asked a cab driver to take me as close as possible to the site where the cranes were still working. I got out and saw the lights of the cranes and walked toward them, toward an unofficial viewing place. I remember walking quietly with strangers, who like me, just wanted to pay their respects. There were very few people. The air had an acrid smell, like an electrical fire. Two firefighters in full gear were walking in our direction. I walked up to them and shook their hands and offered my thanks and condolences. Their faces were blank with exhaustion. I made it as far as I could go and with others stood and watched the cranes work through the night. I remember that I was on Liberty street. All of the buildings and businesses nearby were closed, most had sustained serious Damage. We were standing near a bank. As I stood there I looked up and I saw an American flag still flying.

A few years later on
9-11, I was walking to court. I noticed none of the flags were lowered. I called the county judges office and expressed my concern. The lady on the phone said she would get with the judge and take care of it. About an hour later I came out of the courthouse and all the flags had been lowered.

We must never forget this day.

Robb Fickman, Houston


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