September Morn

September has always been one of my favourite months, as leaves begin to fall and slowly transform into bright reds and yellows. The need for a jacket and the anticipation of a new season brings finality to summer, but unfortunately for me, and many others, this much-loved time of year was changed to horrific terror a mere twelve years ago.

Each one of us will remember where we were on that terrifying morning in 2001, but for some of us the loss was closer to home. I vividly remember September the tenth, as I drove to the airport for a flight to Phoenix to meet some friends. I have always enjoyed Phoenix, especially in the fall, as the weather is warm and the air is dry. I arrived without incident and checked into the beautiful Legacy Resort.

Jet lagged and tired I spent a few hours photographing the countryside and decided to turn in early. I woke up around 5:30 (jet lag will do that to you), turned the TV on and saw the now immortalized image of the World Trade Centre with smoke rising from it. I remember Wolf Blitzer, CNN's anchor speculating that a small plane had hit the tower. Suddenly, directly before my eyes I watched as a second plane, a jetliner, crashed into the second tower.

Events unfolded and the word terror was used for the first time. I was stunned, and slowly began to realize the impact of the event. One of the people I was to meet, Chuck Mather, worked in the Trade Centre along with another friend, Bernard Mascharenas, from Toronto. I tried to telephone, but nothing in New York was working. I showered and dressed and made my way to the lobby for some breakfast and further news.

The Hotel was nearly empty and when I realized that all air traffic had been halted and planes in the air rerouted back to their points of origin, I knew it would be a much different trip than what I had anticipate