Monday, September 11, 2006


The tragic events of 9/11/01 affected people in all parts of the world. In almost every community there is somebody who knows somebody who died that day. Terry Hatton was one of the brave few who actually run into burning buildings. As captain of FDNY's Rescue 1, he was killed, along with ten of his men, in the line of duty on 9/11. He was also my cousin.

As kids, we would spend summers together at our grandparents' cottage on Long Island. Later in life, I would see Terry when I traveled to New York on business and when he visited Los Angeles. One time he came to my 9th floor office at KROQ and told me that he didn't like the way the building's fire exits were designed.

In the months after the attacks, a Burbank firefighter made metal bracelets that were each engraved with the name of a deceased New York firefighter. They were similar to the POW bracelets that were distributed in the 1970s. I bought a bracelet from him with Terry's name on it.

Last week I was contacted by Aron Saffell, a firefighter in Garland, Texas. Each year, on the anniversary of the attacks, he erects 343 crosses in memory of his fallen brethren. The Dallas Morning News covered it on their website today. Aron sent me a photo of the cross with Terry Hatton's nameplate.

Here in Knoxville we have a permanent memorial to the victims of 9/11. It's a black obelisk engraved with the names of those who died. There was a photo of it alongside a story in yesterday's News Sentinel.

Terry Hatton made an impact on all those he met. A woman who used to date his uncle wrote about Terry in Saturday's Austin American-Statesman. (Just for clarification, my mother and Terry's mother are sisters. The uncle mentioned in the column is the brother of Terry's father.) Two weeks after 9/11, another journalist wrote about the time she spent on jury duty with Terry.

Rest in peace, cousin.

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Anonymous Pam Mc said...

Frank, those stories were so touching. We are blessed to have had people like Terry among us. May he rest in peace.

Blogger M. Fearghail said...

A personal, touching tribute and honor to your dear cousin.

Let us never forget!

Anonymous Tonya Estep said...

Thanks for sharing this. I didn't know anyone who died that terrible day but thanks to you Frank I feel like I do now.

Anonymous Marc,Kim,and Frank fan said...

your Story was very moving! September 11,2001 is a day that I
will never forget!-
I got mad at work today because out of 84 Employee's I was the only one who wore an american flag on my shirt, I dont know if its where they want to forget or did forget...I didnt understand them!
I sat in silence this morning at the times the events took place..
there was phone's ringing, calculators, typewriters, people talking, but I stood at my desk and said a silent prayer, I havent been to church in a long time but I was so heart-broken at the lack of interest my co-workers displayed sure we talked about it and read stories on the internet.
But for me just being where I was that morning - watching it live on CNN and seeing the other plane.. and watching the people come together was something stuck in my heart- I will never understand the compassion that the fire-fighters had- Like your cousin- I am truly sorry for your loss-sorry for everyone's loss- I watched the first half of the abc special about 9-11 last night but became so mad that I turned it off-
May it be 50 years from now I will still wear my american flag pin on my shirt! GOD Bless America!
Thanks Frank!-

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I can't believe it's been 5 years. It seems like only yesterday. I remember you telling me when your cousin was missing…and how I felt when you told me he was found. My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours on this day. I hope as time goes bye you will find peace and knowing people will never forget will help. They are never gone if they are never forgotten. Peace


Blogger Geologychick said...

Thanks for sharing your story about Terry! I used to listen to you on the M&B show here in L.A. - but now I listen to K&B! They are a lot better!


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