I've just signed up to have a blog entry honoring a victim of the September 11, 2001 attacks. It's called The 2,996 Project. My assignment: a post to honor James F. Murphy IV, a 30-year old account manager with Thomson Financial who was attending a breakfast meeting of the Waters Financial Technology Congress at Windows on the World, on the 106th floor of Tower 1.
Thirty is a good age for a man. It is one of the minor transition points in his life. It is (or should be) the age when all the alleged truths a guy learned and fostered during his 20s begin to melt away, and he's left having to learn stuff all over again. Some guys explore the void that's left and begin to replace it with solid chunks of more meaningful stuff (a process that can take them into the next decade of their lives), some immediately start to pour in the same crap they were supposed to gotten shed of, and some only feel the emptiness.
For me, when I turned 30, I had just gotten out of a bad marriage (my first) and was ready to move into my own place, and I was six months into a new job I liked at the time.
Jim was two years into a loving marriage to a college sweetheart. He apparently had a job he liked, too.
He died on September 11, 2001, when American Airlines Flight 11, piloted by the scary-eyed Mohamed Atta, slammed into Tower 1.
I can only hope my meager words can honor this young man.