UPDATE: I am working at the site where they are protesting today. I am right at the corner of Broadway where the World Trade Center used to be. They aren't letting people directly in front on the street where it was.
There is a group of nasty anarchists protesting and it just angers me. I will post photos later when I can. They are so sick. And they have no regard for those who were murdered and for the feelings of the families. They are brainwashed into thinking they are doing this for the greater good and that is more important than the emotions of the families they step upon. They disgust me!
I bear witness without media pontification or left-wing editorializing and meaning changes.
I was there that day. I was NOT at the site. I was on the E train that would have ended at the World Trade Center.
It was election day in NYC. I stopped first to go and vote, something I believe strongly in doing as my civic duty.
Then I walked the the train. I probably got on the E train 10 minutes before the world as we knew it forever changed.
I remember complaining that the train was delayed and that I would be late to work. The entire events happened while I was in the tunnel on that train that day. Everything!
I got out of the train and walked to my bagel place. No one said a word to me. They just let me pay for my bagel ...but they knew.
I worked for a cable television station at the time and when I walked in one of the girls working there whom I was friendly with told me what happened and I looked at her and said,"That's NOT funny." I just didn't believe her.
She said, "There was a terrorist attack. Someone flew planes into the Trade Center.
I just could not wrap my mind around that sentence. I told her it was a cruel joke as she brought me to the television where live news shot were showing the fire and huge gaping hole. I put my hand in the VCR slot to feel for the phoney tape. Nothing! And then my heart sank.
I new immediately it was Muslim terrorism. No one else would do this. No one! I honestly didn't care what came out of my mouth that day. Fuck them if they didn't like the truth. LOOK what silence gets you. I told people, we ignored what they do to the Israelis and THIS is what we get.
I had to find a coworker who's mother was supposed to be working in the towers that day. Frantically he was trying to get her on the phone. I didn't own a cell phone then but so many did and no one could get calls in or out. Ironically the only thing working well was the Internet and so I emailed my brother and a few friends. My coworker's mother was finally able to get a call in and tell him and me that she was not downtown and not to worry. I ran around my office like nobody's business until I found him.
My brother as it turned out was sleeping since he didn't have to go into work that day or he had to go in late, I forget which.
A friend, who I was able to communicate with through email had an apartment and a business in the city, emailed me to come to his location so that I could use his phone. He for some reason had pretty good service, while most of the city didn't. He also offered me a place to sleep if I needed it.
THEN the news reports of a possible car bomb at the Pentagon came in. Which as we all know it turned out to be another plane slamming into the building there in DC.
And then it hit me like a ton of bricks. And honestly that expression doesn't do justice to the intense feeling I had when I realized that "someone declared war on us", this was much more than a terrorist attack.
The reports that people were jumping stunned me. I couldn't understand why. I guess in order to survive, our brains push out that which it cannot handle. Coworkers had to explain the reasons why.
How do you get yourself to take in the fact that people are jumping from that height? They know there is no chance of survival. I just couldn't "get it."
And then the plume of smoke. And it was hard to tell what happened. You could hear the reporter mention the top of the building toppled. But that really was not the case. It was just a television screen of dust. And then all you saw was one building.
And again I couldn't get myself to believe people were still inside. I told myself, well at least there is still one building left. They didn't get both.
When the second tower fell the reality hit me. And I started to cry and cry and cry. And I didn't care that my coworkers saw this. I kept saying "Oh my g-d, there's people in there, there's people in there!"
I made my way with some girl from the company who didn't have family in the city, to my friend who invited me to use his phone and stay with him.
Out on the streets it was ominous. No cars, and barely any busses. Sworms of people in the streets. Shop owners with the televisions outside for all to watch and listen to. I saw two men with Israeli flags drapped around them. (They understood all too well.)
My mother had beeped me to see if I could respond. (yes we used beepers back then) I finally got through and I told her I was ok and where I was going and I would call her again when I got there.
When I arrived at my friend's location and got Mom on the phone again she told me about two more planes. WHAT?
I don't remember much more of the conversation with her. I only remember the feeling. I know we told each other we loved the other and I promised to call her again when I could.
The trains weren't running until late that night.
I decided to go home.
There were about 4 people on the train with me. All of us had that same stunned look.
I met with a neighbor that night. I just didn't want to be alone. She was hysterical with anger. She worked for CBS TV and lost friends. The television stations had their antennas there. She was screaming and screaming and mad. It was if this happened only to her.
I went back to my apartment and called Mom again. I had nothing to say but I felt so alone and stunned.
No one went to work for the next two days. The Mayor asked us to stay home. Three days later when work was open again, I made my way to the E train. As I approached the top of the hill getting off the bus to the train, I looked to my left and saw thick thick smoke! It was STILL burning. And I knew I had no choice but go into it.
Even before I got on the train I saw the first poster of "the missing." In my town in Queens, a young waiter from Windows on the World, posted desperately from his family.
At every corner in the city, the posters, the signs, the faces.
The firemen from the station across from work never returned. NOT ONE MAN!
(Forgive me for any typos or spelling errors and for ending this post here. I just cannot write more and I can't get myself to look this over. Writing it down is reliving it enough for me for today.)