Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Remembering 9/11


Today I want to pay tribute to 9/11, the most devastating foreign attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  While 2,996 people were killed that day, 2,605 were U.S. citizens, including 2,135 civilians. Three hundred seventy two were non-U.S. citizens.  Among those who died, 67 individuals were from the UK, 47 from the Dominican Republic, and 41 from India.  In total, more than 90 countries lost citizens in the four attacks.  It was also the deadliest incident for firefighters, as well as for law enforcement officers in the United States. The New York City Fire Department lost 343 fire fighters, while 23 New York City police officers and 37 Port Authority officers lost their lives.  This is truly a global remembrance, and one we should never, ever forget.  In 2009, Congress named September 11 a National Day of Service and Remembrance.  Further, as long as I have a blog and am cognizant, I will try to remember to pay tribute to those who died on that day 18 years ago today.

Before the world as we know it changed forever, this was one of the places I visited.

I remember taking photos of this fountain, which can also be seen in the aerial view above.

I will never forget the shiny gold lobby.  While waiting for the elevator to take me to the Top of the World Observation Deck in the South Tower, I remember taking photos of myself in the reflection of the gold elevator doors.  I even remember I was wearing a pink and white matching short set.  Amazing the things we store in our brains that time refuses to allow us to forget.

After the attack, those elegant stairs in the South Tower I remembered climbing to reach the gold elevator to the observation deck, were now nearly unidentifiable, as this photo shows.

I made a conscientious decision to NOT show the towers collapsing and burning, although I will share a couple of photos of the remains of the human devastation that was taken to, and found at, the Fresh Kills landfill.  According to the caption under this Time Magazine photo:
More than 65,000 personal items were recovered from Ground Zero, including 144 rings, 437 watches, 119 earrings and 80 bracelets.
Possibly the most bizarre photo I found, also from Time Magazine, was this one above of identification cards belonging to Blue Cross and Blue Shield employees found during the screening of debris at Fresh Kills. The fact that so many people burned to death in both towers when the planes ripped the buildings apart, then the fires burned for over 12 weeks after the collapse, it seems odd that bits of plastic, although deformed, would make it through all that heat and devastation.

And lest we forget, the twin towers weren't the only casualties that day.  Two more planes, their passengers, and crews also perished that day. Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon at 9:38 EDT and Flight 93 crashed into an empty field at 10:06 EDT.

There are also those left behind.  The loved ones of these people who perished must never be forgotten, either.  Some first responders who weren't on duty feel survivors guilt and suffer PTSD, just like those who have been to war.

I told this story on a friend's blog yesterday and thought it might be appreciated here. 

I remember a husband and wife were news reporters at the same station in Wichita, KS.  In fact, they met there and were married before I moved to town.  They left Wichita shortly after I moved here.  Both took jobs at the same station in NYC. The morning of the 11th, she was live on air and he was in the field when it happened. I remember our local station where they had previously worked picked up the feed and decided to show it to honor them. When the first tower fell, she asked if he was OK. Silence. More asking if he was OK. By this point, she forgot where she was and instinct took over. You could hear the fear and desperation in her voice as she tried to reach her husband in the field, not really realizing (or probably caring) that she was on air. Several hours later he checked in at the station, but he had been caught in one of the waves of debris that rolled along the streets near the falling towers. He had ducked into a shoe store to get out of the debris and flying dust.  It just shows how even professionals have real lives that were deeply affected that day.

Feel free to share your own 9/11 memories on this day that is embedded in our brains and one we who lived through it will never forget.

And finally, although I never don't try to get political on my blog, I just can't keep quiet today.  I don't understand our president.  First he refuses to allow the dear Bahamians, who now have only the clothes on their backs, who don't have a home, belongings, possessions, or even their passports or legal papers, because they were so busy trying to save theirs and their children's lives, are not being allowed to find safe harbor in this great country of ours that opened its arms so freely in the past, BUT he invited the Taliban to sacred Camp David just in time for them to celebrate (and gloat over) this day of remembrance.  To lighten this message a tiny bit, I defy Dai$y from Trout Talking Tabbies to write a longer run on sentence for which she is so famous!


20 thoughtful remarks:

Iris Flavia said...

Yes, it was an awful day, even for us in far away Germany.
Colleagues whose friends/relatives were in NY were on the phone (all was OK with everybody, thankfully).
We had but the CNN website which only had the starting page and nothing more, no infos as no TV at work.
Hubby on the other hand worked in a shop where they also sold TVs and on German TV they had the tragic news life - even translated to German but the people walked by, thinking it´s a movie - I´m not maging a joke here. Hubby called me and said he can´t believe how dumb, how resistant the customers are.
The world really sadly has changed so much since. So many more terror attacks. Be in with axes on public transport, be it on "Western" festivals, knives, pistols, whatever.
Your president, our chancellor... they´re the same, the have to take no consequences for their actions. At least yours will be gone after 4 years - we have ours since some whopping 14 years! I have lost my trust in politics long ago. Turning on the TV is a pain, often, too. Even in series it´s full of terror.
Sorry, guess you didn´t expect such a long answer. And mostly I still feel safe here.
I have never been in NY/America (yet), but the pictures are "burned" into everybody´s mind, I guess.

Valerie-Jael said...

It was a terrible attack, and one that none of us can forget. I know exactly where I was and what I was doing when I saw the first news broadcasts about it. Truly awful. And who can understand such a lack of sensitivity and feeling in a man like DT? Unfortunately there are too many politicians of his caliber around. Valerie

aussie aNNie said...

A horrible day and one no one will ever forget, also the day I was made redundant from my Practice Manager position for a group of doctors, who unbeknown to me were selling...xx

My name is Erika. said...

There were a lot of folks from NH on those planes since they flew out of Boston. The news this morning is paying them honor. It is a sad day in US history for certain, not just for local victims but all victims and the first responders and all family members/frinds left behind.

kathyinozarks said...

A day to be remembered. I was a telephone operator and I will remember that day as if it were yesterday-the phone calls I got-and the terror we felt for our country as people coming in from their breaks letting us know what was happening.

Anne (cornucopia) said...

As long as I am cognizant, I will never forget this day. I prefer not to share my memories of 9/11/2001.

froebelsternchen said...

We will never forget it.

Agnes Agnieszka said...

Nice photos

Nancy said...

Well chosen photos in your tribute. I'd not seen the photo of a box full of id cards- it is jarring, isn't it? Also astonishing to me are the stories of people who were supposed to be at that location doing their usual daily work, but were not there for some reason. It all gives us pause.

Linda Manning Findley said...

Thanks "E" for never forgetting to post and honor our great heroes of the day and remembering the dead's families ... we must never forget!

Mia said...

Who will never forget the 9/11, Elizabeth? It was a shock for the whole world. My thoughts are with the families of the victims. Hugs, my dear friend.

kathyinozarks said...

Hi Elizabeth, I just remembered after reading your comment-that if you enlarge that first star quilt you see the faces of the people lost that day-I forgot about that until I enlarged them

da tabbies o trout towne said...

I'll ask dai$y to accept the challenge !!! The paragraph about the news reporters reminded me of the radio station I had been listening to that day; the DJ's had signed on air around 5 am with their shift to be over around 1. they stayed on the entire day, kept their composure, yes broke down a couple of time, but remained diligent in keeping everyone informed of what was happening for those who didn't have access to a tv

♥♥♥

Meggymay said...

A moving post Elizabeth.
WE will never forget that day either, everyone felt for the families of those who were taken from our world . Stunned shock could describe one of my feelings that day when the news was shown on our TV's.
Yvonne xx

Sandra Cox said...

Beautiful post, Elizabeth. I'm glad you remembered. I'm ashamed to admit that when I was setting up the blog for the week, the date didn't compute for me. Dur.

In regards to the other piece of your post, he's also sending home terminally ill children that are hospitalized here.

butterfly said...

Truly devastating events. I remember watching it all unfolding live (it was already late morning/early afternoon here in the UK as it all happened). I think it threw the whole world off balance and we're still struggling to right ourselves.
Alison x

Jeanie said...

Oh Elizabeth, that story about the reporters is so poignant -- I'm glad he finally checked in. And you are spot on about not understanding our current political leader. It makes no sense. But then, so much doesn't.

I was getting ready for work and Today show was on. I was eating breakfast and actually saw the second plane hit live on air. I stopped at Rick's on the way -- at the time he was director of the Japan America Society and a delegation of Japanese were here for some U-thing related to World War II. The event continued but no one could really concentrate -- people were too focused on any available TV. The same at work -- most of us had televisions in our office and they were NOT turned to Sesame Street. Groups clustered on the TVs in the lobby and looked through the windows at those in master control. That night the Japanese were at Rick's for a cook out -- a beautiful day and we were on the patio. We live in a flight path -- not low enough to be too bothered but we see planes often. The sky was perfect blue --and not a plane in the sky. One woman was worried because her friend worked in that district and she couldn't reach her. (It was OK in the end.)

Last night I went to see "Come from Away" about the Canadaians on Gander, Newfoundland that took in thousands of passengers who couldn't land in the U.S. It was a powerful night to see this magnificent musical.

Divers and Sundry said...

A terrible, terrible day.

RO said...

Thanks so much for the remembrance of that day, Elizabeth. I was a manager working in the Cox Call center in Virginia Beach, so we had televisions all over our office. I'll never forget the tears and screams of people from New York who had family they couldn't reach once we saw what was happening. Truly a horrific day and week, actually. It saddens me that people have no idea what it means to live in a car, or to not have food, loss of paperwork, a place to take showers, clothing or a place to call home. I pray for a miracle for all these people who need help so desperately and for kindness from those around the world. Thanks again!

Caty said...

It was a very sad day, and we never forget it, very very sad.
I send you big big hugs,
Caty