Driving to Orient, I heard the stories of the tragedies unfolding in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington on the radio. I wished I was with my family. I later learned that my daughter, a 12-year-old at the Village Street School in Marblehead, had heard that a plane from Boston had crashed in New York and, knowing I was on such a plane, became extremely upset. I waited until after midnight before getting a ferry at Orient.
We moved from Cambridge to Marblehead in 1992 so our children could have a more typical life. That move resulted in two hours (or more) a day commuting to a large Boston law firm where the name of the game was long billable hours. I thought long and hard about the limited available time to spend with my family and my community, and decided to make a major change.
By the end of September 2001, I left my Boston firm and hung a shingle in Marblehead. I now had much more time to spend with my family and invest in my community, where I became involved in a number of nonprofits. As bad as Sept. 11 was, it led me to re-evaluate priorities and to live a more rewarding and valuable life.
My wife and I came to the "surface" from The Living Seas, an underwater-themed exploration base at Epcot's Future World in the Walt Disney World Resort, when a man in a Disney staff shirt approached us and asked us to leave the park. The man was fairly pale and looked shocked as he told us the park was closing due to the fact that the Pentagon and the World Trade Center were bombed. Initially and for a split second, being in the fantasy world of Epcot, I perceived this to be part of the show until I said "what?" He then stated, "Planes flew into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center and they're gone." That's when I said "what" again, and looked at my wife with a gaping mouth. It was the first time and only time that Walt Disney World had ever closed, because they believed that Disney was a possible target. I said to my wife, "As with the JFK assassination, we will all remember where we had been this day."