On June 19th, 2001, my brother died very suddenly.
I know how callous that sounds. But John was from an earlier time and as we all now know, it was later than we knew. Less than three months before 9/11, I'm not sure how well he would have handled the post 9/11 collapse of the world he knew.
John was 17 1/2 years older than I. Drafted in 1945, he served on Guam in the Pacific at the end of World War II. He deeply believed in America and what it had fought for and won.
He thought his government represented him and not the interests of money and greed.
He cried often and long after President Kennedy's assassination. He loved Jackie. Hated Nixon, Reagan and Bush. I don't know how he would have taken the unmasking of democrats and republicans in the 21st Century as one big party of looters and plunderers of the country and as agents of their gluttonous special interest accomplices.
He believed if you devoted the 40 most productive years of your life to one company, they would return the loyalty in your retirement with a pension and health care.
I don't know how John would have handled the implosion of the twin towers later that summer; of their collapse as metaphor portending the future of an America he had spent his life in and thought he knew.
No, the timing of his unexpected exit from this earth less than three months before 9/11 was impeccable. I think instead, had he lived to see the post 9/11 world, it would have killed him.