For each generation, there are those moments in history when we have a collective memory. People of one generation can tell you where they were when they heard Kennedy was killed, for example. I remember precisely where I was and what I was doing when I learned of #YitzhakRabin’s assassination. Today, of course, we think of the tragedy of 9/11. Like many, I recall watching the news just after the first plane struck the World Trade Centre. I went about my day like many, glued to the news. It wasn’t until days later that I became aware of a very personal connection with the deadly attack.
My cousin, Paul Friedman, was a passenger on the second plane. Paul was much older than me. He taught me to play chess when I was young. Paul was the eldest of 5 siblings. He grew up in New York and later moved to Boston. He was returning to New York for business on that fateful day. He and his wife had just adopted a little boy a week earlier. Brutal actions cannot, must not, destroy good people and the memories they gift to us.