Friday, September 11, 2009

In Memorium

Rest In Peace

This was the view I shared with so many that day. The Towers were so big you could see them from all the way up on 86th and Broadway where I was, helping my friend who was recovering from surgery. As I got ready to leave for work they thought maybe a helicopter had mistakenly hit the Tower. I left the apartment and hopped on the bus, something in my gut told me not to take the subway. Cell phones started ringing off the hook. Frantic calls coming in. Both Towers? Airplanes? The Pentagon? We're being attacked! Traffic at a standstill. The lady sitting in front of me sobbing, her husband worked in the Towers. Oh my god. Get off the bus, run to the ATM take out the maximum limit, try to call my friend and let him know I'm coming back. All cell lines are now blocked. Heart racing. Get back to the apartment and watch out the window and on the television as the world as I know it crumbles. Clients, friends, friends of friends, people you never knew, gone. Everyone knew someone or someone that knew someone. Not one of us was unaffected.

It's the smell haunts me. Every year as I watch them read the names at the memorial service I smell it, burning in my nostrils. The acrid stench of death. Death of so many innocent victims . Death of the towers. The death of innocence.

I'll never forget.

6 comments:

Belle de Ville said...

I'll never forget either although I get the feeling that most people just kind of think now "hey, no big deal".

pillow mint said...

powerful words. thank you.
that day will never be forgotten. senseless acts of violence.

Dobbygirl said...

I'll never forget either, I was in my office in High Point,NC and we were all frantic trying to get in touch with our NY office and I was frantic about my best friend who lives a few miles from the Pentagon. Makes my blood run cold every time I think about it.

In '99 I took my Mom on her first trip to NYC and we went down to the World Trade Center and we ended up talking to a bunch of guys who worked there on their smoke breaks outside (their sleeves on their button down shirts rolled up). We got some good restaurant info etc and had a very nice talk with them. All my Mom thought about on 9/11 was that she hoped none of those nice men died - and she cried. It's funny how you think of things like that. She still will say something every year about that and get upset.

Anthony said...

This is a wonderful tribute. Your personal account of how you experienced that horrible day is certainly chilling. I don't know if my own survival instincts would've been as sharp as yours. It was very smart of you to avoid the subway, like you did. And pulling out cash from an ATM was crafty, as well.

Did you see that CNBC (?) was re-running the Today show's entire original broadcast coverage from that morning? It was quite eerie and unsettling, but also strangely fascinating in a way. I even found myself getting intensely emotional, all over again. Almost like it was happening for the first time...

I have to say that I'm not entirely sure it was a good idea to re-run it. In the back of my mind, I kept wondering if it was somehow disrespectful or in bad taste. Plus, it struck me as oddly similar to Orson Welles infamous1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast. Of course, the main difference is that 9/11 REALLY happened, but it just seemed possible to me that some people could have flipped on their televisions and been startled, if only for a minute, thinking that we were being attacked once more. CNBC did post the date there the entire time, but still. There are plenty of illiterate folks in America who watch T.V., since they can't read a book...

Thanks, again, for your thoughtful tribute and remembrance of one of the worst days in American history.

The Townhouselady said...

Anthony,

Thanks for such a thoughtful comment.

I think it was a good idea that they showed it. For exactly the reason you stated. It re-stirred the emotions. I think sometimes it's good to feel the pain so that we don't just relegate it to a sound bite "The tragic events of 9/11". Every time I hear that I think No, "The violent terrorist attack that killed thousands of innocent people on September 11th"

ZDub said...

I remember watching TV for three days straight. Like I couldn't stop watching. All day and night.

So sad. I read a lot of blog posts on 9/11 that were saying it happened 8 years ago and we should get over it. I don't think you ever get over that and we should honor the innocent people that lost their lives that day.