Bernard Curtis Brown II I've lived most of my life in New Jersey, about 50 miles from New York City. For better or worse it's always been the big brother to the north. From baseball games to class trips to Christmas time it is as much a part of growing up in this part of NJ as the beach. My early days of struggling as an artist involved many trips by train to lower Manhattan. Many disappointing treks ending with the walk of shame past "the girls" to the train station back to Jersey. I always thought of the Towers as 2 pretty girls; graceful, artistic and beautiful. Up close they were incredible. The view of them from places like Hoboken, NJ across the river at night was breath taking. I'll never have the words to express how much it hurts to talk about them in past tense. It doesn't feel right sometimes to be happy to say my friends who were in harms way made it home safely when so many here in Jersey didn't. Classmates who lost brothers or husbands or fathers. Friends who lost best friends. Communities that have a wound that will never really heal. I've tried to think of something I could do or say or draw or paint that might 'help'. But I don't have that kind of ego. I've never thought of myself as that important, and it's moments like September 11th that can make an artist full of daily self doubt feel even more useless. I dedicated this site to my friends and family who had passed over the years. That was in the hopes that somewhere, where ever they are, they might see how important they were to me and how I wouldn't have made any steps, let alone giant ones, without them touching my life. Of all of the stories that came from that September day there is one that hurts my heart the most. It was of Bernard Curtis Brown. He should have been like the kids I saw during the year as a substitute teacher. He should have been worrying about girls, test, book reports and basketball games with Michael Jordan on his favorite team the Washington Wizards. But because of someone else's 'cause', someone else's perverted idea of wrong and right, he, along with his teacher, Hilda Taylor, and the rest of the passengers on Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon, will never get to do what so many of us spend too little time doing....enjoying each day, each moment of time we are given. May the victims of that day rest in peace. May their loved ones some day find grace to cope with the loss. And may we all some day find the words...
 

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