WORLD TRADE CENTER ABOUT COMMEMORATION
by Paul Butler
in World Trade Center
An alarm clock goes off just after 3 a.m. A gaunt, middle-aged man reaches to turn it off. Carefully, and without disturbing his snoozing wife, he rolls over and out of bed and creeps about the house in the pre-dawn silence, getting dressed for work.
Just before leaving he quietly opens the bedroom doors of each of his children and for a moment gazes at each as they sleep.
Then the man –who we will soon learn is Port Authority Police Sergeant John McLoughlin– leaves his suburban home and heads towards the city. Other men are going through the same routine. A commuter bus carrying policemen towards the Manhattan dock area whooshes through the sleeping city, its slipstream tugging at an American flag that hangs half-unfurled from one of the buildings.