"The problem here is a totalitarian uniformity, a cult-like mentality such that even allies are enemies if they fail to follow the Exact Party Line. " - Phyllis Chesler

Friday, September 9, 2011

9/11 is a Day Of Mourning

I don't know the names of the thousands murdered that day, so many in my city, my home. But I'll never forget the feelings that day or those people.

I'm tired of the circus that 9/11 has become.

I'm tired of the politicians using this for their own platforms and sound bites.

I'm tired of semi famous people trying to make 9/11 something of their own. The movies, specials etc...screw you all.

I'm going to tell you how it felt and try to help you see the day as it was then...not what crap lie it's become.

I was three months and one day into my 30th year. I worked a job that was on 50th street directly across from a firehouse where before I could even make it to work that Tuesday, election day, the firemen left never to return. Not one man from that house ever came home. NOT ONE.

I was in the subway and late for work. I had no idea what happened. The entire event happened while I was underground. I was on the E train which was the train that went directly to the Towers as the last stop in Manhattan. So it was delayed and I was late to start work.

When I was able to get out the streets were very quiet but no one said a word to me. I went to buy breakfast and I didn't even hear a report on the radio in that bagel shop. But I didn't suspect anything. When I arrived at my desk a co-worker came up to me and said, "No one has told you what happened have they?" And then she took me to her television in her office. And I was watching live TV of the towers with smoke and fire consuming them. And I still didn't believe it. This was before DVRs and other electronics we have today. And I stuck my hand in the vcr and was angry and said, "This isn't funny. Don't joke about this?" And there was nothing in that machine.

I knew in that instant it was Muslim terrorism. I knew those bastards did this. I didn't know their names. And I didn't care about their names.

We could not get phone calls in or out. But we could get internet. I remember emailing my brother. Who as it turns out was home from work that day and slept through the entire thing. He didn't even know the world was changed until hours after it was all over. I remember emailing a friend of mine who lived and worked in Manhattan. I remember all of us not knowing what to do.

I remember a male coworker frantic because his mother worked in the Towers. Finally a call came through and it was her. And I was able to tell him she was fine and not there. She was safe. I remember running through the hallway frantically looking for him to let him know.

And then I remember a few of us in a room together desperately trying to get cell calls in or out and telling one another of the reports we were hearing. I watched the first tower fall. I watched it live. All you could see what smoke. And then one Tower. And I guess there was a need in me to disengage from the reality and I remember thinking that at least one building was still there. We still have one building.

And within a few seconds it hit me. There were people in there. And I started screaming this.

And then the reports came that people were jumping. And I again couldn't grasp this. One of my co-workers had to tell me sternly that they were jumping because it was so horrible inside.

And then the news reports started coming about what they first reported as possible car bomb attacks at the Pentagon and then possibly another plane. We weren't getting the clear details, yet.

And THEN...
I remember thinking and saying, "Someone declared war on us."

I got a beep from my mother. She was desperate to find me. I didn't own a cell phone then. Somehow I managed to get a line out to her and tell her I was fine and that I love her and I was ok and not near the Towers. It took a lot of tries to get that phone line out.

After a little while I decided to leave and find my friend and meet him at his place of business. By this time both Towers had fallen. I brought a co-worker with me. She lived out of the city and I wanted to make sure we were both not alone. At his location he had phone service and I called my mother again. And then she told me about another plane. "There's a fourth plane. Another plane missing." This was the one that turned out to crash in Shanksville.

That plane was missing at the time. My mother confirmed the plane hitting the Pentagon. I told her where I was and that I'd probably be in the city that day because there was no subway service.

My friend and I went looking for an open pharmacy to see if I could get a few pills of the medication I was taking at that time. We found a location that said no problem. Everyone wanted to help one another. And everyone was shell shocked.

On that walk I saw the people from lower Manhattan covered in dust.

I remember earlier in that day watching on TV the scenes from just after the collapse. The flag swinging from the traffic light pole. That image has always stuck in my mind.

Now I was seeing these people who escaped on the streets, covered in whitish gray soot. I saw a few people draped in Israeli flags in solidarity. These few knew the situation from early on. I think this made my friend angry.

Eventually late at night after watching the news for hours in his apartment and after having a spagetti dinner with his roommate and the co-worker I brought along, I learned that the subway was running again. And he walked me from 34street where he lived up to 53 and Lexington to get my train.

In the car I sat on there was about 3 other people. All women. And no one else. And we all had the same blank look on our faces. It's a stunning feeling.

We could not be sure we'd get home safe. We could not believe we were under attack. We couldn't believe that we witnessed and heard about people jumping from buildings, some holding hands as they knew they were going to die.

I remember having to go back into the city two days later. As I got off my bus to my train and walking slightly up an incline where I could then see Manhattan, the gasp that I took as the person one step before me and before them took in the same spot. To see the city covered with the still burning embers and knowing we were going into that. The smell in the city for days.

Everywhere were desperate posters. Everywhere! And we prayed that they would be found alive somewhere.

And we lit candles and prayed for the souls of the Fireman of that station that we knew weren't coming back. We stood at their Firehouse and sang G-d Bless America.  And we looked at the faces that were murdered every day for months upon months on the posters all over the city.

So on this September 11, 10 years later I want you to remember those feelings. I want you to remember the people that we lost. The buildings were just buildings. There were lives in there that can never be replaced.

And I want you to remember that there is no policy in the world that can ever justify this kind of heinous act on innocent civilians. And there is no policy in the world that can justify the mental illness that allows anyone to  claim that these people were not innocents or civilians. And I want you to stand up to the bastards in our own country that try to bastardize and manipulate to show any sympathy with a cause that created this perpetration upon us. I want you to make the lives of people who believe in that disgusting garbage, so hard on them that their sick ideology can never become a movement that destroys us from within.

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