(CBS DETROIT)– If you’re old enough to remember the tragic events of 9/11, chances are you can recall exactly where you were when you heard of the first plane attack.

For Brian Kaufman of Grosse Pointe, he remembers vividly.

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“My son’s first day of school, and I promised him that I would take him, so I was there,” said Brian Kaufman.

Living in New Jersey at the time, Kaufman says, although he had important work obligations, seeing his son off to Kindergarten that day took priority, a decision that ultimately saved his life.

“7:30 in the morning I would have been at my desk, my training was to if you had an issue be there kinda all hands-on deck,” Kaufman said.

Kaufman’s desk was on the 86th floor of the South Tower 2 World Trade Center. While in the car that morning, he got a call that would forever change him.

“There were so many people relived that I wasn’t there and I didn’t understand. They said you better go home and turn on the television and I turned on the tv to see after the first plane had hit and immediately started calling my friends and co-workers and people who had worked for me.” said Kaufman “I spoke with my assistant who’s wife was pregnant at the time and I said, your wife’s pregnant, get out of there, what’s the risk if it turns out to be nothing just go back to your desk”

Shortly after that conversation, the second plane hit. Kaufman’s assistant did not make it out.

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“I smashed the phone on the ground and I swore to my wife, I said, I’m never going back there again,” Kaufman recalls.

That day, Kaufman lost 106 friends.

“My wife and I we were going to funerals for 2 months, sometimes we had more than one funeral in a day,” said Kaufman.

He says, it was too much too bear and eventually they just stop going. Now he holds tight this 9/11 book which honors the lives lost on that tragic day, including those he knew personally.

The book so sacred to him he didn’t want the faces and names revealed on camera, but says he’ll always have them in his heart.

Kaufman says after this experience he’s completely reengineered his life, and takes nothing, especially walks in a garden with his wife, for granted.

“This is nice, it’s so beautiful,” the Kaufman’s said as they walked through the garden.

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