On this most solemn of anniversaries, I would not be part of the New York community and an American if I did not acknowledge it here.
I was already working at home full time by Sep 11, 2001 so I was not in danger personally. However, the year before I was working in the World Financial Center and my morning commute took me through the twin towers perhaps 10 minutes before the first plane hit. From my 27th floor window, I would have been watching debris falling before they gave the order to evacuate.
Needless to say, 9/11 affects me. And like so many Americans I remember exactly where I was, what I was doing, to whom I was speaking and what the weather outside was doing.
I also remember that the work world stopped and we were glued to the television screen. What may be surprising to many is that my preferred TV source was CNBC. I found them to be extremely professional, knowledgable and connected to downtown New York.
I also remember trying to keep order in my life by doing "normal" things. That day, I happened to need to bring my car stereo in for repair. The TV was on at the shop and the faces of the people working there spoke louder than words. They were in shock and doing normal activities, like fixing a radio, was the best option to keep them from breaking down.
Here is what I wrote in my Sep 26, 2001 Barron's Online column - the first one we did after the attacks:
"Much has been written about how the tragic events of September 11 will tip the economy over the brink and into recession. That shouldn't be too surprising. For the first time in recent memory, people were just plain scared -- about their safety, about the U.S. going to war, about the stock market's record-setting drop last week."
The word "scared" gives us the main point. Today, eight years later we are no longer scared and that should speak towards our collective spirit. That we continue to have anniversary ceremonies means we will never forget and we will always remain unified, not matter what partisan garbage happens in DC and everywhere else.