Archive for September, 2009
This is my entry for Project 2, 996. A site that gathers together the stories of those lost on Sept 11, 2001.
Some days will always be etched in your mind. September 11, 2001 is one of those days for most of us, and it will probably stay burned into our memories as long as we’re on this earth. I was in between jobs at the time, and I was living at home. I had stayed up all night and was about to get a few hours of sleep. I decided to turn on the morning shows to see what was happening…the Today show had live views from a fire at the World Trade Center in NYC. A small plane (maybe the size of a Cessna) had inadvertently gone off course and hit the side of the massive tower. No word on fatalities or a cause.
I’m trans fixed by billowing smoke and what seems to be a very large fire for such a small plane deep inside the building. All of a sudden a second plane smashes into the tower at what has to be a very high rate speed, and this was definitely an airliner. The cameraman is so caught off guard that the camera shakes and loses the scene for a second, only to pan back into place, showing a large fireball shooting out of the side of the building. These were not accidents, these were deliberate…turning to Fox News, that was the first thought most of them had- this was terrorism.
I felt sick to my stomach. I was in a slight daze…already very tired from being up all night and now in a state of semi-shock. I quickly woke my mother up and told her to hurry into the living room to turn on the TV, I had no idea what was going on but something wasn’t right. We watched for hours. We watched the buildings fall. We saw people running through the streets fleeing what would turn out to be a cloud of smoke, debris, and we though dare not say it at the time- death.
I remember vividly how horrified I was, how that day changed my life. I can’t even begin to imagine those stuck in the buildings that made it to safety. Worse yet, I can’t ever forget the fact that thousands never made it to safety, and what was merely a day of shock from a far for me, it was a living nightmare for some and some would see that nightmare end it all for them that day.
2, 996 innocent lives taken. 2, 996 people who went to work, boarded a plane, or were merely walking down the street. All of them murdered because of a senseless ideology that relishes death and destruction. Normal lives, average lives, extraordinary lives, brave lives, there were all sorts of lives taken that day.
One of those taken was Robert Cordice. Robert was a 28 year old firefighter disappeared on Sept 11. He was part of Squad 1 of the FDNY. He had been there only two weeks. He had recently transferred from Engine Company 152 in Staten Island…he wanted to be part of the elite Squad 1 in Brooklyn to be in the thick of the action. Robert was a thrill seeker. Before becoming a firefighter, he spent 3 years with the police department, stationed at the 13th precint in Manhattan.
Robert was also a ladies man. He loved the ladies, and they loved him. He had made the cut for the 2002 Fire Department Hunks Calendar. This is the picture that was eventually used in the calendar, the calendars were used to raise money for charity.
Robert Cordice lived his life constantly being selfless and putting others before himself. “It is no surprise that he was in the building when it collapsed,” said friend and fellow firefighter John Deliso. “He was the type of guy who wasn’t worried about himself.”
Cordice had a bright future ahead of him, if not for the tragedy. His mother, Carolina Cordice spoke about her son, “All his friends loved him very much. He was a very funny, very positive, very honest and loving son.”
Robert Cordice craved action throughout his life. He decided to become an officer and protect, and he decided to change that routine to become a NYC firefighter. He put in for a transfer to get into even more action. He got the big action he wanted. Sadly that action meant the risk of injury or death. It was that action he craved that took Robert from this earth. He gave his life to do what little part he could in this world to protect others around him. As others fled from the carnage, Robert ran toward it. As is the life of those brave men and women around us, who selflessly give of themselves day in and day out. Sometimes they make the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. No telling how many lives were saved that day thanks to the bravery of men and women like Robert Cordice. He had a promising future. It’s a shame we’ll never know what would have ultimate been made of it. Today, I honor him.