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Posted: Mon September 12th, 2011, 1:35 pm
I was in 2nd grade. We were reading when the suddenly the national anthem played over the loud speaker. My teacher had us all stand up, and she had tears streaming down her face. The only other thing I remember was that Saturday, the day of his funeral, I was very upset because cartoons weren't on and couldn't understand what the big deal was....
I do wonder if all of the coverage makes us numb, and we no longer can take in what happened. Its funny that I did what I did yesterday, because I have been avoiding any of the news covereage (in print and tv) the last week. I just felt that I had to bear witness. Those few hours spent watching in again was enough for me to remember, mourn and hope for a better world.
Posted: Mon September 12th, 2011, 4:05 pm
I was at work on 9/11. Most of the people I support travel. One of them was in NYC that day. Our NY office was down the street from the World Trade Center, so my colleague was caught up in the general confusion and evacuation of buildings near the site. We have offices in most major cities, so most of us spent the day trying to find where people were, had been re-routed, and so forth. It took several days to get travel sorted out for project teams left stranded in various cities across the country.
What I remember most is a speech one of our Partners gave at our all-staff meeting a few weeks afterward. He told the story of a scare his family had when he was a boy. His father, a college football scout, was traveling for his job and had been scheduled to leave on a plane that was later reported to have gone down. Turns out his father, through some last minute mix-up, had actually changed planes and returned home fine. It was a very moving speech which left not a dry eye in the room.
Posted: Mon September 12th, 2011, 4:32 pm
We lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan (W. 95th) at the time. My husband works for CBS and watched the towers fall from his office window on West 57th Street and I watched live on TV. Our ten-year-old daughter was in school on East 33rd Street in the shadow of the Empire State Building. Subways, tunnels and bridges were closed down; buses crawled slower than people could walk. We spent the morning in frantic communication (on land lines--the cell phone towers were down or over whelmed) as my husband set off on foot to retrieve our daughter and I took in several friends who worked in Mid-Town, but lived in the outer boroughs or outside the city. My husband and daughter walked almost six miles to get home on that awful day. Anyone familiar with the geography of Manhattan can imagine the mass migration of stunned, grieving people up the broad avenues, away from the Financial district. Luckily, the subways and trains started running again in the evening, so my friends were able to get home. We were extremely lucky in that several of our friends had close calls--evacuated from nearby buildings--but no one was injured.
The next day was another gorgeous sparkling fall day. I needed to get away from all horrible images on TV, so my daughter and I retreated to Central Park. As did half the city. I've never seen so many people in the park and never heard the park so quiet. No talk. No music. No radios. Everyone just walked in the bright sunshine or settled on the lawns or sat on the benches feeding the birds. I was drawn to the John Lennon memorial in Strawberry Fields...again not the first. The Imagine mosaic was mounded with flowers, notes, tokens and pleas for peace.
The next day, the kids were back in school and I started walking south on Broadway. I didn't know what I wanted or where I was going. I just walked, drawn toward the plume of smoke that still rose in the south. At about 34th Street I started to notice the posters: handmade signs with pictures "Have you seen my husband/wife/brother/daughter...?" Names and faces from all corners of the globe. By 14th Street, the walls were thick with them and small memorials started springing up--candles, pictures, toys, prayers. The police eventually turned me back and I walked home.
Yesterday the constant dirge of music on the radio and relentless sadness of TV coverage again drove me out of the house. This time it was a cool gray day. Now we live in Brooklyn, so my husband and I rode our bikes down to Coney Island and walked the Boardwalk. Personally after ten years of (at least one) unnecessary war, tens of thousands of civilian deaths, trampled civil rights, political bombast and manipulative fear mongering; I'm exhausted and quite willing to see future 9/11's pass in personal reflection rather than public mourning.