A Letter for My Father on 9/11

After losing her dad on that tragic day, Susan Esposito started a foundation for children

Photograph by Getty Images

The date was Sept. 11, 2001. The time was 8:46 a.m., when a plane crashed into Tower One of the World Trade Center and changed our lives forever.

The greatest man on Earth, my father Billy Esposito (aka Scoop), was taken unexpectedly from my family and all of his friends. I was 23 years old.

I will never forget the beautiful Tuesday morning in September when nothing seemed any different in our house from any other day. My dad kissed us all goodbye one by one, as he always did early in the mornings before he left for his job at Cantor Fitzgerald, where he was a vice president and partner.

I was home alone getting ready for school, my mother was on her way to the beach, and my brother was at work. Twenty minutes earlier, I had just spoken with my father, and he had asked if I had seen his cell phone. I told him that I was certain that my mother had stolen it from him, as her phone was broken. I then told him to not worry about it and get back to work, make some money and that I loved him. I had no idea that those would be the last words I would ever have with my father.

What seemed like another ordinary day in our lives turned out to be nothing of the sort.

Minutes later, I overheard a voice on my parents' answering machine saying that something had happened in my father¹s office and that we should turn on the television. With that, I sprinted downstairs, turned on the television and could not believe my eyes and ears. My heart felt like it was about to jump out of my chest, and I felt a strong sense of nausea as I immediately reached for the phone and dialed my father's office.

The response was one busy signal after another, which led me to think of calling his cell phone, momentarily forgetting that we had just had a conversation about how he did not have it with him. I then unsuccessfully attempted to contact the rest of my immediate family. What was happening? What seemed like another ordinary day in our lives turned out to be nothing of the sort.

At that moment, my mother came through the door hysterically crying, followed by friends, my boyfriend and my brother. We all sat glued to the television, hoping for a call from my father to tell us he had escaped or to wake up from a terrible nightmare. Moments later, we watched his building collapse to the ground, and me, my mom and brother felt our lives collapse to the ground as well as we clung together and cried uncontrollably while trying to deal with this unimaginable tragedy.

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