2 Dates Etched In My Memory

Are November 22, 1963 and September 11th, 2001. I can tell you exactly where I was on both of those dates and what I was doing. On the morning of September 12th, I was walking my dog as normal and I could sense that something was different. It took me a moment, but I realized it was the sky.

It was the absolute quietness of the sky. Not a plane could be seen or heard. The FAA had grounded all civilian air traffic the day before.

Two years later, I visited Manhattan for the first time in my life. Stayed at a little hotel at midtown run by Catholic nuns.

They all had their stories of where they were that day.

I went down to the financial district and took a picture of the NY Stock Exchange.

A policeman with a submachine gun  told me not to take pictures. I showed him that I had deleted them on my little digital camera.

I went into St Paul’s chapel which had turned into a bit of a museum. It was a haven for rescue workers.

Then I walked to the site of the WTC.

My impression?

No pictures the news media showed ever really did the devastation justice.

2 Dates Etched In My Memory

The site was heavily fenced, and even this does not really portray the size of what was the WTC.

Of course, 2 years later all the the wreckage had been cleared. All that was left was a hole. A massive hole. The length and width was hard for me to estimate.

It had to have been 5 stories-10 stories deep. A subway tube that was severed – a subway apparently went into the WTC – looked minuscule –  tractor-trailers looked  – tiny.

I  walked a half block or so to see the firehouse that had the first rescuers on the scene – and had lost so many. I took a picture and a fireman inside just looked at me as if I was violating a consecrated place.

I felt after the picture that I was.

 

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Here’s a few more pictures I took from that day.

A good book of that day details the lives of some who survived, and some who didn’t.

From a different perspective – that of ATC – Air Traffic Control – is Touching History.

Particularity chilling for me was the revelation of a likely 5th hijacking that was averted from the Newark airport – because on the taxiway the pilot had a bad feeling about that smoke from the WTC,  and turned his plane back to the gate.

At that moment, ATC still didn’t know it was terrorism.

 

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Filed under GWOT, In Memoriam

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