I started writing a post last night about home decorating and improvement from my “empty nester” point of view. But when I woke up this morning, there were reminders of this horrific event that is now 15 years old.
Back in the late 1970’s I worked in the WTC. While I have good memories of working there, I never felt fully “safe” there–the elevators shook and swayed and the building seemed to be a Tower of Babel of sorts.
Probably the most intriguing memory was the morning when Philippe Petit took a highwire stroll across the towers. We all agreed he was a friggin’ nut! But we all wanted him to make it across safely.
Nobody could have imagined the horror that would take place in the future. The mass murder affected many of us. I still get emotional when I see the view of Manhattan from across the river. She never looks as “long” anymore.
To date, I’ve not gone to the memorial. It’s hard because I can visualize the faces with a good number of the names. I don’t want to have a visual of their last moments. It’s too much.
Today, 15 years later, I still get weepy over this. We simply cannot forget. I’m not going to politicize this. There is no need. I just want to repost what I wrote last year without a change.
Thanks for understanding. My humor will return tomorrow!
Anniversaries are reminders of special days. They may not be great reminders and they may be fantastic reminders.
Today is an anniversary of sorts. It has been 14 years since the catastrophic event of the Twin Towers in New York City.
My then-husband was out of the United States on a business trip.
My oldest son, Jake, had entered into his Freshman year at University of Texas in Austin.
Roman was a Sophomore in high school and Oona was in seventh grade in middle school.
I was home, I was getting dressed and just about to sit at the computer.
Ruby, my Yellow Lab, and Dorothy, my Bassett Hound was at my feet.
The TV was on.
I was not watching the TV, but I heard that a plane crashed into one of the two towers.
My first thought was “Holy shit. I used to work in that building”.
I could not for the life of me, figure out how that could have happened.
Then I thought about how nervous I was working in the WTC to begin with. The elevators drifted from side to side because they worked at such an incredible speed.
The building itself seemed to sway in the winter’s wind.
Then—it happened again and we all knew that something was not right.
The Pentagon exploded.
The plane went down in Pennsylvania.
America, as we know it, changed from an innocent and idealistic child of a country into a geographical and historic grown up. We were violated and we were wounded by extremist hatred.
Videos and images of bodies jumping from the towers, videos of the crashes, videos of a destroyed downtown were constantly aired to keep us informed.
Those images were horrific.
Worse than that, were the videos of the extremists who were living in these United States of America, celebrating these horrific events. Celebrating because they are filled with hatred. Celebrating because they are bigoted against Western society, yet they seemed to enjoy living in this society.
I remember losing people I grew up with. Losing people who lived in my neighborhood in NYC.
I remember one of my former playground moms having a son who was a waiter at “Windows On The World”. A while later his arm was found. He was identified by his tattoo.
His tattooed arm was closure.
Another young neighborhood kid was a fireman who went into the building and never made it out.
One of my cousins, a battalion chief for the NYFD, took the morning off so that his wife could go to the doctor. His entire battalion was killed. My cousin, Patrick, died seven months later.
That day, it seemed that the world was on our side.
That day, it seemed like our entire being as Americans were bound together.
We aren’t though.
We still have hatred and bigotry in our own back yard. We have hatred toward the LBGT community.
Hatred and bigotry still live within the confines of our borders in the form of politicians and “Christian” extremists.
People get pissed off because security measures at airports are too strict and those measures cut into their selfish time.
People get pissed off because, in trying to make our beautiful country a safer place for her citizens, they don’t want stricter gun laws.
People get pissed off because they don’t believe that others should be able to love who they want to love.
When will we learn?
I haven’t forgotten. But I certainly am not yet ready to forgive the evil that still dwells among us.
THIS is the image I chose to remember the anniversary of 9/11 with. The cross is hope. It is of a cross that was found at the site and taken to rest at Good Shepherd Church–my old parish in Inwood. Many parishioners were murdered that day…..
There are no words………….
Hope that one day, we will all be able to accept others as they are and the world will be a better place.
Listen. Hope is great…and I always attach a song. Today, I’m still doing that, but it’s a happy and hopeful one. “High Hopes”—because that is what we all need! XOXOXOXO!
We also need to go back to innocence–just like the kids in the video!
A very well written memorial. Thanks.
(Today is also my daughter’s (21!) and her cousin’s (29) birthday. I try to remember that this is also a joyful day for many as well as such a sad day for all.)
Thank you Nelson. It’s true. On this day are many good memories for many people as well as the sad ones. The cycle continues. Happy Birthday to your daughter and cousin!!! Hope you have a great and wonderful celebration of life–it is important!! XOXOXOXO!
Catherine – We can’t Forget and We Won’t Forget in This New World. Look to Hope and Joy and Acceptance and Love. This is What We Can Do.
Doodle. True XOXOXOXO
I will always remember where I was – we were in Spain, watching the horror unfold on the TV whilst waiting to see if we were allowed on a plane to come home. They shut down part of the European airspace and everyone was on high alert.
But whatever anxieties I had doesn’t compare in the slightest to what yourself and other people in the US were going through. So I understand completely your reasons for not going to the memorial and for it still being a difficult memory to visit.
It’s a day the world changed for the worse but for the sake of those lost, we must celebrate the many things that have happened since for the better and continue to have hope. Love wins but doesn’t forget 💜Xx
Haylee. True words. Love wins but doesn’t forget. Very well put! XOXOXOXO!!!
Thank you for sharing….xoxoxo.
I posted my own memories on FB this morning, and told the story of how I worked on the Comcast Building project, the first skyscraper built after 9/11. The regulations for building had changed and I learned a lot. I was constantly aware of its relationship to the WTC. And I teared up when I went on the Comcast job site and saw the immenseness of the concrete around the elevator shafts, because I was thinking of all the people in the towers.
Hi Lori. Bonaparte and I were just talking about how the world has we know it changed that day. I never knew that the Comcast Building was the first one built after 9/11. It is incredible–isn’t it? I don’t have much more to say today except that I’m always happy to hear from you. I consider you a good friend! XOXOXOXO!!!
I feel the same about you! Xoxo
Thank you Catherine for your intelligent and evocative writing and its symbols of hope. I have never been to New York until this year and do not carry the memory of the scarred skyline, however my husband a regular visitor to New York does. We remember exactly the moment we heard of the horror and will not forget.
Hi Yvonne. I don’t think anyone can truly understand the impact of that day more than the NY’ers can. BUT, I also feel that the world came to the aid of NY and the world as we know it felt the same pain. It’s easy to forgive but hard to forget and we can never forget! XOXOXOXO!!!
Oh God! I sat watching the TV for hours and hours that day trying to make sense of what had happened. Here in the UK they screened the falling of the towers again and again. It looked like an excerpt from a Superman film. I have never been able to forget the sight of those who leapt from the windows. Your account moved me to tears. We must learn to love one another, but hell it’s difficult.
Hi Mary. It IS difficult. To this day I have serious issues after the visuals that WPIX news showd of the islamist extremists that were living in PATTERSON, NJ. and CELEBRATING in the streets. They should have been exiled. That’s all I’ll say. I need to be kind….XOXOXOXOXO!!!
i’ve been remembering all day. I was teaching a class when it happened, I can still remember another teaching knocking on my door and telling me to rush to the library as soon as class ended because America was ‘under attack’ and they had it on the TV in the storage room. We wanted to tell the kids in a controlled manner so it wasn’t announced until about 30 minutes later and then we sent everyone home. I don’t watch most of the documentaries or anything about it – I still don’t want to get into it too much. Just my memories are enough.
Hi Cynthia. I’m on the same train of thought that you are. I won’t watch the memorials on TV. I can’t do it. It’s too much for me–but like you, the memories are enough! XOXOXOXO!!!
I will never forget that day, I was at work in Scotland and my husband was picking up our tickets for a holiday to NY 6 weeks later for ourselves and two children. We watched the events over and over on TV. My daughter and I had reservations about going wondering about the atmosphere that would be awaiting us. We were pursuaded it would be fine by my husband and son. I am so glad we did come the people were amazing and so welcoming and appreciated getting things back to normality. I will never forget that visit and have been back many times since.
Hi Isobel. On thing about New Yorkers. They are strong. They are resilient. They are tough as nails. And–they are real and incredibly kind and generous and truly love visitors. I’m so glad that you have continued to come back. Thank you darlin’! XOXOXOXO!!!
What a beautiful picture of the church and cross. It should be on a poster to remind us that 9/11 is and always will be with us…
The church is my old Paris in NYC. Good Shepherd. Many of the Parishioners were killed that day–many young ones. It’s just awful..but the photo really is beautiful!! Thanks Lady Calen XOXOXOXO!!!
A beautiful, sentimental tribute to one of our country’s toughest days. Well done, Catherine.
Thank you Katie–it certainly was one of our country’s toughest days–and I think it was actually the first of many more to follow….XOXOXO!!!
So well said. Thank you.
Thank you Leah! XOXOXO!
Slipping in here to say that I can’t comment on the post you just published about your kitcehn counters. Not sure why…but it’s not working!
It could be an issue on my end. My computer and WP are acting up again!!!