My best frend's dad had been battling cancer for 18 months. It was coming down to the point that we were pretty sure he wouldn't make it, but being that we were 16, we had to hope.
The monring of 9/11 I was on the phone with another friend, Fred, we had what we called "The Circle" and we were all a part of it. My aunt called so I put my friend on hold. She worked with my friend's mom. She called to tell me his dad finally died at 5am.
I switched back over to Fred. He cried, which sent me to tears. We met up at school and spread the news to the rest of our clan. I ended up having my mom pick me up from school, I just couldn't make it through the day. Even though, I wasn't close to his dad, this was the first death I had any connection to. He used to pick up my friend from school, so he'd give us all a ride. When my friend and I dated in 10th grade, he watched End of Days with us, I remember this clearly because he was cheery Arnold on. My friend later told me he was a big Arnold fan and would give a thumbs up and say "I'll be back" before going into surgery.
On the way home, my mom and I were listening to the radio. We heard something about a plane hitting the buildings. I watched it on TV, but the true reality of the day was my friend's dad died. It was a true tragedy and I worried about my friend. I was there for him through the whole cancer fight. I listened while he considered suicide.
So every year on 9/11 I call my friend to send him and his mother a long-distance-hug instead of harping on the towers.
The falling of the towers was a terrible thing, but I'm from Western NY, not the city. My stock was held in my home town, not the city.