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BLOG: Looking back at that day 18 years ago

BLOG: Looking back at that day 18 years ago

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The day is still a blur.

For me, it is hard to distinguish between what happened in real time and what I would later see in 9/11 specials. I was busy covering the story of a generation that day.

We now have reporters and copy editors working in our newsroom who had not started elementary school when the planes hit the towers.

One of our copy editors told me today he was six.

It didn’t become personal for me until years later when I learned that an All-American basketball player I covered at Hartwick College had worked for Cantor Fitzgerald.

Tim O’Brien was on the 105th floor.

He left a wife and three young children.

I went back and read all the stories. I eventually contacted his sister, Kathy Tighe. As it turned out, her husband worked with Tim at Cantor Fitzgerald.

He didn’t come home that day either.

And the tragedy was compounded.

Kathy had to mourn a husband and a brother.

“On that day, we lost two fathers of seven children (ages 13 to 6 months),” she wrote to me three years ago.

Four of the children were hers.

But what I come back to time and time is again is the resilience I heard from her about how life goes on.

Kathy described it this way:

“Yes, we are living our lives again. “The ‘baby’ is a freshman in high school playing soccer like her dad, and basketball like Uncle Tim. My parents continue to attend the games of the grandchildren (24 of them) as they did for Tim and the rest of the brood. Evil tried to destroy our family, but I am happy to say it did not succeed.”

For me, that is the enduring legacy of 9/11.

Ken Tingley is the editor of The Post-Star and may be reached via email at  His blog  “The Front Page” discusses issues about newspapers and journalism. You can also follow him on Twitter at



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