September 11, 2018

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It is now Tuesday September 11, 2018 at this hour. Many years have passed since the clear blue day of September 11th 2001. I remember where I was when my phone rang on that early morning. My friend Ricky telling me to turn on my tv because, something was “going down, in New York City.”

I tell this sobering story often because it happened to us on Miami Beach. I was sober, because it was withing the week, and I was only binging on Saturday nights, because that was my night out for the week.

For two weeks post 9-11, the bars, nightclubs and liquor stores all closed. There would be no party. Nobody celebrating anything. I remember renting hours upon hours of internet time at the local internet cafe, on the beach. So much so, that after a couple of days, the proprietor of said cafe, was giving me free time.

Fourteen days of mourning took place.

At the end of this period, bar owners thought, out loud, that Miami Beach needed to do something concrete for New York City. They decided to re-open the bars and nightclubs, for one purpose.

To raise money for New York City.

For every dollar donated, the bar would match said donation, AND would offer the same, in kind donation, in alcohol to the person donating the money. They made money hand over fist for a month. And the people of Miami Beach paid into the New York Fund, but drank as much alcohol as they could safely consume, on any given night.

Every dollar, was given back, in free alcohol.

We drank every drop of alcohol, in the radius of 100 miles in every direction.

Not a sober human on the island for weeks and weeks.

I would eventually get sober, in December of 2001, because fate stepped in when I uttered that prayer to God for help.

Help came.

Those who do not remember the past, are doomed to repeat it.

Interesting that an entire generation of kids graduating these days, have no memory of what happened on September 11th, 2001.

September 11 – We are Born to Mourn

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Fifteen years have passed, since the day the earth shifted on its axis, and in certain ways, the world, “our world” changed, and would never be the same ever again.

When I was a young man, I spent time in New York City. I visited the Twin Towers, so I was familiar with the layout of the land and the buildings.

That Tuesday morning, it was quite early, I was still in bed. My phone rang, and it was my friend Ricky on the other end. He said “You need to turn on the tv, something is happening, and I’m not quite sure what it is.”

I turned on the tv, and watched the second plane hit the building. I watched the buildings burn, like everyone else did. Then I watched them fall to the ground.

When the air plane hit the Pentagon, the only thought on my mind was my brother’s life, because I knew he might be in that building. I called my mother, whom was not speaking to me, nor was my brother, speaking to me either. I asked her where Kenny was.

She did not answer me, and then hung up on me.

I called several more times, when she finally assented to telling me he was not in Washington at the time of the attack. At least my brother was out of harms way.

I chose not to open the store that day, and I would not open the store for a number of days in the end.

I turned to ABC News and the wisdom and guidance of Peter Jennings. If any one had the power to guide, He would. That began several days of 24 hour ABC news hosted by Peter Jennings. I emailed the news station and got Peter’s On Air Email Address, and I was writing to him back and forth.

One night in particular, Peter was looking very haggard, all suited up and tightly wound. So I wrote him a note, and said …

Peter, you seem a bit wound up. Why don’t you loosen your tie and shirt and relax a bit. A few seconds later, I watched him loosen his tie and shirt.

September 11th, took its toll on Peter, and eventually killed him, because he picked up smoking and that smoking killed him.

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Do we ever get a break from memory, from reliving the past, or from mourning ? No, we don’t.Ever !!! From the earliest days in school, we are taught all those stories of those who came before, and the many that sacrificed their lives to give us the freedoms we enjoy to this day.

We are always mourning an Event, A Human Being, A Time, A Place, a War, A Shooting, Buildings Falling, the list just goes on and on.

I wonder, if there are some out there, who are just tired of mourning.

We owe eternal debts of gratitude for family that went before us, for soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. For those who were killed unjustly, for those who were slaughtered by terrorists who only want to kill the infidel.

We mourn the loss of children shot up in a school, people shot up in public places, and those fifty young people gunned down in a nightclub in Orlando.

Today we remember and mourn all those souls who went to their deaths on air planes plunged into The World Trade Center buildings, the Pentagon, and in Shanksville Pennsylvania.

We mourn the first responder’s who climbed the buildings trying to save peoples lives, and in turn lost their own in the process. For all those who were killed in those buildings in New York City, the Towers, the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania. Thousands of lives lost because of deranged and sinister terrorists.

For days and days, Miami Beach was comatose. The bars and clubs had closed, and we entered 14 days of mourning. I sat in an internet cafe, where the owner gave me free air time every night, to surf, to try to help in some way. I did that night after night.

At dusk, we brought candles to the beach and lit them so satellites could take our pictures from space, and be published for maximum consumption.

There was no partying, no liquor, no nothing. We mourned because that is what everyone else was doing. I was stone cold sober.

Fourteen days later the bars opened and they began to have matching funds Fund Raisers, where if we donated money, we could drink the same for free.

Over the next three months, we drank all the alcohol that was available in a 5o mile radius of the city. We were drunk for months.

The rest is history. A few days before December 9th, 2001, I had had my last drink. Troy took me to my Next First Meeting.On December 9th. My sobriety Anniversary.

And by the grace of God, I haven’t desired a drink since.

We Remember …