Monday, September 10, 2012

BK Racing Remembers 9/11 Victims

McMullen at Richmond Saturday
BK Racing's No. 83 and 93 Toyotas ran a special decal at Richmond International Raceway during Saturday night's Federated Auto Parts 400, in remembrance of 9/11.

The decal had an image of the American flag accompanied by the words, "Never Forget." For Harry McMullen, General Manager of BK Racing, the decal carries a deeply personal and special meaning. McMullen, a native of Brooklyn, NY, had three cousins in the World Trade Center on the morning of the terrorist attacks. Two of them were fortunate enough to escape without injuries. The third cousin, Joe, was killed when a jet liner struck the first tower. Even after 11 years, McMullen can vividly remember the events as they unfolded on that fateful day.

"I have a ton of cousins in the New York area," McMullen said. "A group of them lived in New Jersey and carpooled into work in Manhattan. I have five cousins that worked in the World Trade Center. When they arrived that day, two had to leave for meetings outside the city. The other three remained in the Trade Center. When the first plane hit, my cousin Joe was killed instantly.
“My cousins Charlie and Richie met in the second tower and asked what was going on. They figured out there had been a plane wreck and Charlie decided to leave the building. Richie felt he needed to stay and help his office, so he stayed inside. When the second plane hit, Charlie made it out of the building, but Richie was trapped inside. Richie ended up sliding down an elevator cable and running down a flight of stairs. He helped a bunch of people find their way out. We didn't hear from him for a while, but luckily, he made it out OK."
McMullen hopes that the team's decal serves as a reminder of how many were affected by 9/11, and the price they paid.
"It was such a surreal experience," continued McMullen. "Not just that day, but the whole experience. I went back for Joe's service in December. The reason the service was so delayed was because there wasn't a church or funeral home available in the city for such an extended time. There were so many deaths.
“Having this decal on our car was a reminder of what a big event it was and how many people's lives were affected. We can never forget what it means to them and what they gave up. It's too easy to let things like that slip into the past. That should be remembered every minute."

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