To "Doc" and Vinny. Two big, big-hearted great guys who I worked with and liked a great deal on Wall Street. "Doc" got out of the World Trade Center, Vinny did not.
On September 17th, 2001, I decided to listen to everyone telling us to get back to normal, so I got on my flight to Louisville for an annual meeting.
The flight was almost empty and I remember thinking, I bet since Louisville - although populated by some of the nicest people you have ever met - is so removed physically and culturally from New York, it won't be as affected by the attacks as I am. Maybe it will be a good thing for me to go to a place like that.
Believe me, I have been wrong about things before, but I have never been more wrong about how the people of Louisville were shattered. Flags hung everywhere and people were unabashedly shocked and grief stricken.
One nice old man who attended the annual meetings and I had become friends. At one point during the luncheon he looked at me as kindly as you can imagine and asked; "Are you OK?"
"No", I said before I even knew the words were out of my mouth, "Thanks for asking, but I am not OK."
That is when I realized it just wasn't the victims of September 11th and their families who were hurt. It wasn't just the people in New York at the time who suffered physical and psychological damage. Although they got the worst of it.
We all took a hit on September 11th, 2001. And it left a permanent mark.