Smithtown, NY - September 16, 2014 - The Kings Park School District paid tribute to the men and women who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and heard from Robert Rine, whose life was spared on that day, but unfortunately two of his employees perished. Here is Rob Rine’s story:
“In 1996, while driving home from visiting friends, I was in a car accident. My wife, Denise, was pregnant with our first child, Athena. While stopped at a red light, a drunk driver ran her red light and smashed into my car. She hit my car in a way that caused me to twist my spine. I should have gone to the hospital as it turned out that my spine was damaged. For six years I lived with the most excruciating pain in my back.”
“In 2001, I moved my business to Brooklyn on the water across from the Twin Towers. I kept thinking that my back would be better in another day. It was Labor Day 2001 and I did not go to my office until September 10 where I found a work order to meet with two of my men on Tuesday, September 11, at 8:00am at the World Trade Center. I was still having severe back pain and I asked the owner of my partner company if I could make it the next day. He explained that there were some problems that needed to be addressed on the 98th floor of one of the towers; the one that fell first. We argued, but he agreed I could go on Wednesday. I told him I just needed one more day to feel better.”
“Two of my men, Felix and Angelo, went on the morning of 9/11 to look at the job and I got one more day to feel better. On the morning of 9/11 we went to the rooftop of the Brooklyn office to see what was happening across the way. We had Felix and Angelo on two-way radios and they had made it to the rooftop and were asking when the helicopters were coming to get them all off of the roof. We told them to hang in there and that something would happen soon. Minutes later the building collapsed and the radios went silent.”
“My heart bleeds for Felix and Angel and every soul who perished that day. `Imagine that on a random night in 1996 the wheels were set in motion for me to change my plans to go to the Towers from 9/11 to 9/12. The worst pain that I had ever suffered for years had actually saved my life. I had my spine fused in December 2001, it was uneventful.”
Legislator Trotta, a friend and neighbor of Mr. Rine, said, “His story is incredible and I found his remarks to be very moving and heartfelt.”
Pictured at the tribute are from left to right: Kings Park School Superintendent Timothy Eagen, New York State Senator John Flanagan, New York State Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick, Robert Rine and Suffolk County Legislator Robert Trotta.
Legislator Robert Trotta represents the 13th Legislative District, which includes Smithtown, Fort Salonga, Kings Park, San Remo, Nissequogue, Head of the Harbor, and St. James, as well as most of East Northport and parts of Northport and Commack.
Legislator Trotta serves on the Legislature’s Budget & Finance, Education & Information Technology, Health and the Humans Services Committees.