Common Sense

The Numbers That Most Stick With Me

Sometimes numbers matter. But I guess being the different kind of business geek I am, six years later, they're not the numbers you would think.

They're the numbers that most stick with me. Actually, haunt me.

Numbers like 3,051. The number of children who lost a mom or dad that day.

Or like 1,609. The number of people who lost a spouse or girlfriend or boyfriend that day.

Or 115. The number of nations whose citizens died in those attacks. Or 343. The number of firefighters killed. Or 23, the number of police who died. Or 37, the number of Port Authority police who died.

I could go on, and talk about the 289 bodies found intact, and the 19,858 body parts found, clearly not intact.

I could mention the more than 1,700 families who got no remains.

I could talk about the 658 lives lost at one Wall Street firm, Cantor Fitzgerald.

Or that most who died that day were younger than 39 years old.

I could talk about dads who never got to see their kids born. And kids who will only know those dads in pictures.

Much is made in my business of markets that came back, but barely a mention of souls left empty.

Time is good for markets. I'm not so sure it's always good for us.

Over time, numbers can tell us how far we've come.

I hope they never gloss over how much we've lost.

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