Saturday, September 19, 2015

Lies and the Damn Liars Who Tell Them...

No Man Is Rich Enough
To Buy Back His Past.
- Oscar Wilde

In the interest of full disclosure, I am constrained to admit that until the other day I had never heard of Stephen Rannazzisi.  I was unaware of the fact that a TV network named FXX exists, which network is apparently the one that broadcasts a show in which Mr. Rannazzisi is one of the lead actors.  

Not knowing anything about this man, including the fact that he existed, I am among those who had spent the past fourteen years in blissful ignorance of his bold-faced lie regarding his purported brush with death at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.   I would note, parenthetically, that his tall tale is one that he apparently started telling in published interviews as long ago as 2009, which makes me wonder why exactly it took six years thereafter for someone to verify that his alleged employer at the time, Merrill Lynch, had neither (a) offices in the Twin Towers; nor (b) ever employed this gentleman. 

Over the course of several days last week - from Labor Day through week's end, I spent a considerable amount of time in the presence of a rather extraordinary lawyer with whom I had the pleasure of working for our mutual client.  Had the case on which we were working proven unable to be resolved amicably, we likely would have spent all of this week, next week, and the week thereafter  on trial together.  It did so we do not have to do so.  

We were sitting simply making conversation one afternoon in the courthouse when the conversation turned to the anniversary of September 11, which was then just two or three days away.  In a very matter-of-fact manner, he told me that in February 1993 he was in his office, which was in the World Trade Center, when the terrorists' truck blew up in the garage.  He evacuated the building without injury or incident.  On September 11, 2001, he was on West Street, walking towards the building when the first plane flew into the North Tower.  He did what everyone on West Street did, which was run for his life as fast as his legs could carry him.  It was a feat that he and countless others repeated a short time later when first the South Tower and, thereafter, the North Tower collapsed.  

He shared his account of what was to date - and hopefully for his sake shall forever stand as - the most harrowing day of his life, in an understated, modest manner.  He shared it from the perspective of a grown-up who understood then - and understands now - that his good fortune is something for which he and his family shall be forever grateful but about which he shall never be boastful.  

There are far too many families that experienced real loss that day, which loss they still must deal with every day, irrespective of the date that appears on the calendar's page.  

And irrespective of whatever lies a liar tells.    


1 comment:

Judith Pack said...

How does someone perpetuate such a horrible lie for so long without someone noticing? This low-life may have a career in politics. I feel sorry for all those who wasted sincere compassion and prayers for him over the years. On the other hand, the gentleman you referred to who lives each day with a quiet strength from the eternal memories deserves our continued remembrance.