BECAUSE YOU SERVED
The Day the Skyline Changed
Living and breathing the New York City air, we did believe nothing would change the skyline. As I walked or traveled each day to look up and see the two massive silver sticks that were the symbol of the World Trade Center, everything around them kept you wondering what will they build next?
Although I never went to the roof, I was able to look out the windows of several floors and party at World Trade Center #7 and photograph many events with the buildings as the backdrop. I made the decision to move from NYC after my daughter was born, February 28th, 2001. That decision to move on my birthday, September 7th, 2001 and go live in Charlotte will forever change how I live and breathe the NYC air.
My Army units from which I served, 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry, NYARNG and 8th Medical Brigade, 344th Combat Support Hospital, US ARMY, Ft. Totten, NY, had many soldiers that I called family and friends. The fourth day after my move, something happened; people I did not know were outside talking in a way that made me ask “what happened?”
Someone responded, “A plane hit the World Trade Center!”
After watching what the world saw, I thought about my roots and those that are serving in NYC and requested to return, but was told to stay with my new unit, Charlotte-based, US Army, 3297th Combat Support Hospital, where I eventually became active and began to help treat wounded brothers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The trauma of this event and knowing the loss of many brothers who not only served with me in the military, but first responders as police and fire fighters, kept me from ever being a “tourist” to the site. I am now Retired and will never forget my service or those whom I served with, so Living and Breathing will continue even if the skyline changes again.
Bryan D. Hall
Staff Sergeant Bryan D. Hall (United States Army, Retired) moved to Davidson after a 28-year Army career. He was given personal awards and commendations but is proudest of being named the Soldier of the Year (1987) First Battalion 69th Infantry Regiment (1/69th), New York National Guard. He is currently working on the creation of a Davidson Veterans Memorial Monument and will share news and information about that effort in this column.