Alan J. Lederman was 43 years old on September 11, 2001. He just recently began a new job as a senior client specialist with Aon Corporation on the 92nd floor of the World Trade Center, Tower 2 and was living in Manhattan with his wife. When the first plane hit Tower 1, Mr. Lederman called his family to let them know he was okay and people were trying to leave the building, but he never did leave, as far as they know, because he stayed behind to help two women who were too afraid to go.
Just a couple of months before September 11, Mr. Lederman and a friend took a vacation to California in hopes of climbing Mount Whitney , the highest mountain in the continental United States. While his friend didn't quite make it, Mr. Lederman did. When he reached the summit, he signed the guestbook with "Where's the Snack Bar?" For a short time he was on top of the world.
I never met Alan J. Lederman. He was a name given to me to honor on this day, the fifth anniversary of 9/11. While I watched in horror at the events of that day, I could not fully understand what those families went through or the panic those people in the buildings and planes must have felt. I did not know anyone personally who perished in the attacks, but I look at this man's face and I wonder what he was thinking, what it was he said to comfort the women with whom he stayed behind, and did he ever try to get out of the building? I think these things and realize his family must struggle with those thoughts every day, their lives changed forever in one horrible morning.
My hat is off to Alan J. Lederman. He lived too short a life and will forever be missed by his family and friends and by one complete stranger who wishes she had the answer to all the questions.
All my life I thought I'd be the perfect mother. I even majored in it. I aced all the child development classes I took toward my degree in, wait for it, Early Childhood Development and Elementary Education.
And then they were born. First Jacob, who is 8, then Adam, who is 4, and our biggest surprise, Elizabeth who is 2.
As much as I really wanted to be, I am finding out I am no June Cleaver. For starters, The Beav never had a baby sister.