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What I remember on 9/11

Ten years ago, I lived in Marlborough, CT, a small town just south of Hartford, with a population made up mostly of commuters. Most of us worked in Hartford or other nearby towns (I was then working for Computer Sciences Corporation in East Hartford), but some went longer distances.

Marlborough is the kind of town where everyone meets everyone else over coffee on Sunday Mornings at the local bakery, or at the local grocery after work, or at town hall for our frequent, New England style, town meetings… or at our children’s sports events at the grade school basketball court or on our local baseball diamond.

Jim Hobin was one of the people you spoke with at these events.

Jim was one of the mainstays of the Marlborough Youth Athletic League which ran our local Baseball and Basketball programs for kids. In 2001 he was my son Buddy’s Basketball Coach. The previous year he had coached his baseball team.

Nobody worked better with kids than Jim Hobin… and he was always there fore the MYAL… he loved Baseball especially and you’d frequently find him mowing the grass at our small ball field, or  chalking the base lines, or painting the benches. He loved keeping that field ready for the teams.

He was particular known for training the kids and playing EVERY child for an equal amount of time… something that always amazed us, because his teams usually won.

While much of his work was done traveling all over the country for Marsh and McLennen, once or twice a month he had to go the 150 miles or so to New York to the company offices in the World Trade Center. September 11th was one of those days. Jim always left early in the morning to make it to the office on time… it was not like him to be late for anything.

When the first plane hit the WTC, I was at my East Hartford desk at CSC listening to the news on a local radio station as I worked on my computer. At first it was reported as a small plane accident, then the second plane struck and the whole event was devastatingly clear. My partner came over to my desk to listen to the report… then like all the employees in my division we gathered in the lunchroom and watched the buildings collapse over and over on television.

No work was done that day… we all went home to be with our families.

When I got there my wife told me that Jim Hobin had been at the WTC that morning and no one was able to get hold of him. His wife, Sheila, was especially upset at the lack of contact.

In fact, Jim was one of those whose body was never found or identified.

So, on 9/11, like most people who lived in Marlborough, I don’t think about terrorists, or war, or world politics… I think of Jim Hobin and what he meant to our children and to all of us.

10 years later, nothing has changed.

We all knew someone…

The World Trade Center, one of three sites on ...

The final destruction of Osama Bin Laden has brought to my mind, of course, the 9/11 destruction of the World Trade Center and what… and who… was lost in that event of evil.

Many years ago I wrote, while living in Marlborough, CT, of the loss of Jim Hobin, my son Buddy’s basketball coach. Jim usually worked out of our little central Connecticut town, but on that day he had left early in the morning to get to the main office of the company he worked for in New York. In the World Trade Center.

It was a loss that everyone in Marlborough felt… this was a town united by the sporting programs for its children, by congregation for morning coffee in the bakery, by well attended selectmen’s meetings. 9/11 would always mean Jim Hobin’s death to us.