Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rise Up ~ 9-11

Can you remember where you were when you heard the news that "America was under attack?" I do... I was filling up my gallon jugs with fresh spring water at the park. Shocked when a little elderly lady asked me if I heard about the attack, I rushed to the church that I was attending... it was just down the street... and I knew that they would have a television on as both of their children had gone east just the day before. Dana (our pastor and first born son) had gone to Washington for a prayer meeting that was planned for Sept 11th... I wonder if they realized just how much that prayer would be needed within the next few days... weeks... months... Dana's sister had gone to New York to meet with a gospel recording producer and had decided to do some site seeing early that morning. On her way to the World Trade Center, where she would be able to get some great shots from the top... she had a thought that first she should take some shots of the Tower and directed her cab driver to go to a nice spot far enough away to get the whole picture... she tooks her pictures and got back in the cab to head toward the WTC when the first plane hit... horrified she hurried to the scene ready to help and to pray... while we waited at the church with her parents... praying for a phone call... first her call came... she was safe but had no idea about her brother... he was supposed to be at the Pentagon early that morning... but was running late... the call finally came... and he too was safe.

But there were thousands of others who were not safe... and thousands more that would be effected by this terrible act. Americans of every race and nationality came together to help each other... to give what they could give to help lift some of the burden.

Our world was shaken on the morning of Sept 11th... 7 years ago... but...

"Will hate bring it all back?"

Arnie aka njklutz has written a piece about his memories and posted it on Btx...

With his permission, I would like to share it with you...

"When I got into my car this morning I thought how different today was than 7 years ago. 7 years ago I left my house on a beautiful sunny day, not a cloud in the sky. I was feeling sorry for myself and my family having been diagnosed with bladder cancer just 4 days prior. How that day and my feelings changed so much just a few hours later. It is party cloudy this morning unlike that perfectly blue sky. Driving this morning I put on Springsteen’s poignant 9/11 story, the Rising, and started thinking as the songs played. I started thinking of the widows and widowers, the children who we don’t know but who remember 9/11 every day.

Once I thought I knew
Everything I needed to know about you
Your sweet whisper, Your tender touch
But I didn't really know that much
Joke's on me, It's gonna be okay
If I can just get through this lonesome day

How about 30 minutes prior to the first plane hitting Avrom and I walked through the World Trade Center for the last time. Up the escalator from the PATH train, past the shops and the people. All gone later in the morning. How I got to my office on the 40th floor, 4 blocks away, with a beautiful view north and east and then noticing all the large papers flying around. I knew there wasn’t a tickertape parade, what was happening? Then the call from Avrom telling me to look at CNN a plane hit the World Trade Center. I walked to the other side of the floor and saw the WTC on fire with its big gapping hole. I remember calling Randi to tell her I was OK and she had no idea what I was talking about; the confusion, the unknown. Then we heard and felt the second plane hit. We knew it wasn’t an accident and I told those on the floor, this was no accident. It’s a terrorist attack. We are the next tallest building, let’s go downstairs. I called Randi to tell her I was leaving the building.

As I was driving Bruce sang:
The sky was falling and streaked with blood
I heard you calling me then you disappeared into the dust
Up the stairs, into the fire Up the stairs, into the fire
I need your kiss, but love and duty called you someplace higher
Somewhere up the stairs into the fire

I started to think of all the Fireman and rescue workers who rushed into the fire, up the stairs to do their jobs to save lives, only to lose theirs. I thought of Jacob sleeping in his office that night after working all day as an EMT volunteer. When Bruce started to sing It's rainin' but there ain't a cloud in the sky Musta been a tear from your eye Everything'll be okay I remember going to the lobby and finding Anne. Anne was crying, having witnessed the second plane crashing into the WTC. I told her Norman, her husband, was OK in the World Financial Center. He was heading to the Staten Island Ferry and wanted her to do the same, get off Manhattan and meet at home. I thought of Michael arriving at the WTC on one of the last, or the last Path train to arrive at the WTC and coming out of the building that I had left so peacefully only a short time earlier to a building on flames with bodies falling. This morning I remembered my walk north to get away from the disaster as fast as I could. I remembered meeting Chris who was trying to get to a reinsurance arbitration but the subways were out. Not knowing the impact of what had happened. I remember telling him there won’t be an arbitration today, go home. I remember standing by City Hall and listening to a police car’s radio telling us that the Pentagon was hit and there were several other missing planes and the look of feat that came over everyone. Trying my cell phone to call Randi and not getting through. Starting to walk again up Broadway when the first Tower fell. The rumble at first and not knowing what it was. Then the cloud of dust rushing up the street. Even though I was 4 days after my bladder resection, wearing a suit and tie and carrying a brief case, I don’t think I ever ran so fast away from that cloud. Every few moments trying my cell to call Randi or my parents to tell them I was alive but only getting a busy signal. Concerned how worried there were, but knowing that I would get back to Fair Lawn even if I had to walk all the way. Not being as inventive as Steve and buying a bike to peddle home. I remember making it to Washington Sq Park and finally sitting and resting. Sitting with a few people who escaped the Towers. One woman completely in shock.

Darlin' give me your kiss
Come and take my hand
I am the nothing man

We spoke and I learned that this woman had almost been hit by a body flying out of the WTC. She looked and it was a pregnant woman she worked with. I often wonder what happened to this woman. Did she ever recover? Is she still a nothing man? As I was driving this morning I started to think of all those souls who lost their lives that day. How we would read the NYT for months after looking at the pictures and the names. Knowing some from work and feeling the pain each day again, over and over again.

So let's take the good times as they go
And I'll meet you further on up the road

I thought how I finally found a phone booth that worked in the Village and was able to speak to Randi, telling her I was alive and will get home somehow. Days after my surgery I needed a bathroom so badly but for security purposes no one would let me in to use a bathroom, until the Church on West 4th that let us in and served us water. I thought of the kind stranger who when I finally made it to NJ and heard me talking to Randi on the phone offered that when his wife arrived at Giants Stadium would drive me home too. When I got home late that afternoon, all our lives had changed forever. We no longer felt sorry for us and my cancer. We only thought of the thousands that had died that day for nothing. We worried what the future would bring, which we still do. As I sit in my office, the first time not in NYC, I feel a strange disconnect to 9/11. I remember going to the 1st Memorial Service with Brian and now I am on the other side of the river. I look out my office window and see the Manhattan skyline that is still not right.

Empty sky, empty sky
I woke up this morning to an empty sky
Empty sky, empty sky
I woke up this morning to an empty sky

I hope you don’t mind my rambling thoughts this morning but I wanted to jot them down and share them with all those that lived through that day with us and to those who still live 9/11 every day.

May your strength give us strength
May your faith give us faith
May your hope give us hope
May your love give us love



Anonymous said...

Thank you for putting that up not only your recollection but Arnie's as well. I remember setting of for work that day, clear blue here, autumn morning then at lunchtime the world changed. I could not bear it at work and went home and spent the afternoon in disbelief gawping at my telly - there was so much love in my heart that day - no anger - but simple gut-renching desire to do something. I felt then and still feel for all Americans - nobody can say they were unaffected. I still have no anger in my heart, just an increasing personal desire to befriend your nation and its genuine people. Love is permanent, hate is transient- and I just wish the simple text of the Koran was not being twisted by the brainwashed.
Love to all decent peple your side of the pond. God bless you all

Anonymous said...

OK dont know what goin on today it was MagicRats anonymous comment. I played Nothing Man most of the day yesterday and watched the vid. I am still in shock x

Anonymous said...

September 11 2001, I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was at work. Due to the time difference it was 2:45 P.M. in the Netherlands. I had a colleague whom we called the joker because he was always kidding us with everything. That afternoon he came rushing into our office and said that an airplane had hit into the twin towers in New York. Of course we all laughed it off as another joke from this guy. But my colleague insisted. So I checked on the Internet and I saw the second plane hit. At that moment I knew it was a terrorist attack. I was speechless and in shock.
My brother was working in Amsterdam as a stock broker. He was talking on the phone with a business partner who worked in one of the twin towers on the thirtieth floor. My brother said that when one of the planes hit (I think it was the second one) he heard a lot of rustling and crackling on the line and then he lost contact with his business partner. Later on he heard his business partner died in the twin towers...

Gina said...

:( That is so sad, Rachel...
Thanks for sharing it with us...

Thank you anonyRat for your comments! ;)

Love you guys! xo