Yea, its what everybody is blogging about today. I too am going to write about it, as I can’t seem to escape the reality of it. Its on TV, all over the net, if you cant beat em, join em, right?
And I really wasn’t looking forward to it. I mean, this is 9/11 ten years later. What could possibly be left to write about that hasn’t been written already. I couldn’t think of a thing to say.
So I decided to do a 9/11 search on the internet to refresh my memory. And it all came back. And I cried. And now I write to vent the emotion.
I remember while growing up in Jersey, Dad took me to the city to sightsee in 1971. I was 7 years old. I have no idea how I remember it, but I do. We went to Ellis Island and saw the Statue of Liberty (and yes, back then you went all the way to the torch – don’t know if you can do this now). We rode the Circle Line which I guess is what brought us to island. Can you believe I still have the Circle Line deck of playing cards I bought with my sightseeing money Dad gave me? We visited the Empire State building. Central Park.
And the Towers.
I don’t remember us going in the towers, but we may have. I remember my Dad telling me they were still finishing up the top floors. I remember how MASSIVE they were. Mostly I remember standing with my back against the building and looking up and not seeing where the building ended. They just went on and on and on.
My next memory of the Towers is approximately 30 years later. Waking up early to drive my roommate to the hospital for a scheduled medical test. Coming back and grabbing some coffee and switching on the TV. I am a news freak. I will watch the news before anything else. So first thing I saw was one of the towers on fire. And hearing that it was a plane.
My first thought was, ok, what’s the punch line? I actually thought it was staged, maybe leading up to an advertisement or to a new movie. When I realized it wasn’t staged my next thought was it was probably a small plane, maybe some deaths, but they’ll get it under control.
Then I heard that it wasn’t a small plane, that it was a jet full of people. In my mind I immediately went back to ‘are you kidding me’ mode and once again thought it was staged; some kind of joke or something.
After switching channels and finding it over and over, my mind, after being positively glued to the TV for a least 10 minutes, was just getting around the huge fact that it was real when I next saw the second plane go into the second tower, live on TV.
I literally went into shock. I am not kidding you on this. I watched in disbelief people jumping out of the buildings falling to their death below. Lots of them. Experienced news people I’ve watched my whole life just fall apart on camera. Then I watched these massive buildings just crumble to nothing in front of my eyes.
Having visited the towers, I cannot imagine being there when they fell. These buildings were HUGE. An absolute marvel of design, ugly as they were.
I remember, cell phone lines, even landlines, jammed. How scared I was to hear the media telling us we were under attack, and wondering if a nuclear bomb was next. People just FREAKING. The whole country just shut down, immediately. People at work, left. People scheduled the next day, never came in. I didn’t either.
I remember the absolute marvel of no air traffic!! It was so weird. And yes, it WAS quieter! Planes are noisy. There are a hell of a lot more up there than you think. That’s kind of a scary thought in itself, come to think of it.
Later, I remember the months and months of TV coverage showing the clearing of all that massive debris. The President visiting the site. The surprise Mayor Giuliani (not sure if I spelled that right), who went from wimp to everybody’s Dad. President Bush’s speech to the persons responsible (and well said, too). Going to war in Afghanistan and Iraq. The persecution of Islamic Americans.
And believe it or not, its not over. Ten years later, we still continue to live our lives in the shadow of 9/11. The lessons learned. The people lost. They say it’s a different world now.
I disagree. We are who we are. One always comes out ahead in any experience, simply because one learns from every experience. This isn’t a different world. We are not all that different.
But we are wiser.
JUST A NOTE: After posting this, I looked down at the clock on the computer. It was 843 am est, 2 minutes before the first plane hit the tower. Wow. Weird.