What I remember…

Today marks the 11th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks that lead to other airborne attacks, and the attack on the Pentagon.  I recall exactly where I was when it happened and what my initial reaction was. 

Like many, I thought  a plane had violated airspace and that the New York (ZNY to those who work in the aviation industry), air traffic controllers were about to catch-all kinds of hell for allowing it to happen.  We rushed to the internet and saw breaking news on CNN that one and then two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center and was the act of terrorists.  Many of us rushed to the phone to call friends and family in NYC to find out if they were okay. 

I called by God Brother who was working in the financial district and got his voicemail.  I then tried to call my Godmother and her husband who was visiting from London as they were in Brooklyn at the time and they were supposed to go to the WTC that day. 

My heart ached and I anxiously waited to hear from all of them.  Another coworker had family who were at their place of business be adversely affected by the fall out, but fortunately they survived.  Another coworker waited frantically to hear from his wife who was also in that area.  We all rallied around each other and promised to make contact once we’d heard word since we were being sent home early from work.  I contacted close friends whose son; a Marine who worked on the flight detail for the President.  I was told he was fine and would be kept on active detail until things stabilized.  It was all so emotional and frantic.

As the day progressed and images flooded the various news streams, I thought about my daughter who was in middle school at the time. I wondered what she’d heard and how she felt about the news.  Given I was not retired from the service yet, I was concerned that I may get called to active duty to provide support where necessary and applicable.  The fighter pilots of my unit did in fact respond to the attacks given our proximity to NYC and Washington, D.C  and uncertainty reigned supreme that day and the days thereafter. 

I did finally hear from my family and they were all well.  While I’m an extremely punctual person and take offense when we work on “CP” time, I can honestly say I was thankful for it on that fateful day because G-mum and her husband woke up late and didn’t make it to NYC on time.  Given that 9/11 is two days before my birthday, I had even more to be grateful and thankful for that year because even though I was unable to see them due to restrictions on travel in and out of NYC, they still had their lives.  Sadly, so many others were lost that day. 

I’ve visited the area where the World Trade Center used to be and it was freakishly eerie, emotionally disturbing, and extremely hard to be in.  I recalled memories of taking my daughter and then stepson to the WTC and watching them have so much fun in the building. I recall the many times that area was stomping grounds when I lived in northern New Jersey (NoJo) and the many times I’d visited after relocating to Southern New Jersey (SoJo).  My heart ached for the countless lives that were taken, interrupted and adversely affected by the attacks.  I’m not sure I’d want to go back to that area even though at some point I may have to if a family member from overseas wanted to visit. 

To date, there are still many unanswered questions and the truth will never be known.  Osama Bin Laden will be the man held accountable and frankly it is what it is.  It was a sad day in America and an even sadder day for those who lost their lives as a result.  I personally thank those firefighters, police, EMTs, and countless volunteers who assisted in trying to save lives. 

Unfortunately, I’m a little torn in some of my other feelings for that day because I found it amazing how Americans suddenly claimed their patriotism, but worse made innocent people victims of their unfounded prejudice to Muslims and other who ‘looked like’ the terrorists named in the attacks.  When asked, I can’t say I feel any safer now than I did 11 years ago.  I don’t think Homeland Security, The TSA, or the Customs and Border Patrol gives me a sense of security.  In fact, I feel the excessiveness of some of their tactics makes me feel more violated than secure.  I’m not suggesting we don’t need to be more aware and get the impression we’re more secure, but knowing what I know, so much of it simply plays and preys on people’s fears; thus, forcibly allowing ourselves to be treated the way we are without protest. 

Some 9/11 Information that you may want to explore.

I will not force my sentiments on anyone and I have my reasons for how I feel.  All I do hope though, is that we can come together on one accord always in all ways to and for each other. We all live in this country and regardless of your beliefs, inflicting harm on others because they’re different or share a different viewpoint is just wrong.  No matter our skin colour; our blood all bleeds red.  What’s different on the outside is the same on the inside, so it’s time we start seeing beyond the obvious and get to the heart of the matter…the person.  Let’s stop being sheep and being lead or being persuaded by news media.  Step outside the box, do some research, and think for yourselves. 

We need more love.  We need more understanding.  We need more compassion. We need more truth.

What The World Needs Now

That is all!

14 thoughts on “What I remember…

  1. Despite the lives that were lost on that unforgettable day I understand your heart to be grateful to not learn of any family members who’d died. I don’t think I will ever forget the shock that overcame myself that morning – almost fear in the way that I no longer felt as “certain” of anything. And I definitely cannot believe the nerves of those who actually hopped in planes and flew them into buildings.

    Insane.

    My then-girlfriend’s birthday was a day before the WTC tragedy, so, without saying, we were numb the following morning as well.

    Good read, Blu.

    • Thanks Don. That day did confirm that the US is NOT infallable as it thinks it is and that it’s not above being attacked. The act of those who crash those planes in something I’ll never be able to comprehend ever. The who suicide bomber mindset is extraordinary to say the least.

      Birthdays between the 10th and 13th of September were probably all received with bittersweet joy.

  2. I was awestruck by the whole thing. My ex was in Philadelphia and he woke me up with his call that morning and told me to turn on the TV. My heart sank when I saw the images and I was dumbfounded. I later went to work and we closed at noon. I wandered around downtown and then sat by the pier just thinking, trying to take it all in. Even in all my pain and confusion, I experienced nothing in comparison to those who lost friends and loved ones. I lost no one in the tragedy.

    • I hear you Anna. That day was like getting gut punched without warning. Nothing could have ever prepared us for what we saw in the news media. I can’t even imagine of fathom what those who were there went through. I looked at some photos this morning when I was writing this post and my heart ached and tears filled my eyes just viewing them.

  3. What troubled me the most, was how people treated Muslims, after the tragedy. I think we owe the Muslim community an apology. The profiling and other responses were just wrong.

    • I wholeheartedly agree with you. To date, racial profiling of the Muslim community is still in effect and was recently discovered in New Brunswick, NJ when a landlord happened upon an apartment in his complex that was being used by undercover/off duty police to record the activities of Muslims in the area.

      Very sad!

      • Sadly, it won’t happen. The ONLY race/culture of people that ever received an apology were the Jews. Blacks are owed not only an apology, but a debt of gratitude; good luck with it happening though. *sigh*

  4. It’s hard to believe that it’s been eleven years. So much has happened to our country since that day, so much.

    On September 11th 2001 I lived in Bloomfield, New Jersey. I went to work and when the first plane hit The Trade Center I was standing in one of our IT offices arguing with one of their managers over whether the first plane hit the WTC intentionally or not. When I told him it was deliberate, he told me I was paranoid. He was a major in the US Army Reserves and when the second plane hit (while we were talking) he became speechless. A year later he was stationed at Guantanamo Bay.

    I was angry that day, like many people. I lived close enough to New York City to watch WTC burn in the distance for weeks. That just wasn’t a good time for most of us.

    The only positive thing that came out of it for me was how people of color were suddenly “recognized” as Americans by a large segment of society that never acknowledged us as Americans before. Of course, that love affair only lasted a couple of months.

    A couple of months later I actually flew down to Florida and when I sat in my seat, I noticed a few of the men making eye contact with me. When before I’m sure they wouldn’t have even looked around a plane. I guess they were trying to figure out who was gonna help them stop the terrorists….if there were some.

    To this day whenever I fly, I feel uneasy on a plane. I fly at least a couple of times a year. I don’t mind the inconvenience of the security scans at the airport. That’s nothing compared to having to fly into some skyscraper or national monument. Whenever I see someone kicking up a fuss in the line over the screening process I’m like “yeah check their ass out please!!!” “Please take them in the back and do a body cavity search on their asses please!!!”

    • Damn Reggie! What a close call for you. I can only imagine how and what you must have felt; it had to be so scary.

      Arrogance led to many people thinking something like this couldn’t happen in the US, but the irony is that many of the end of times type movies or some catastrophic event that is portrayed in the movies often uses NYC in its depiction. Coincidence? Hmmm? Inquiring minds want to know.

      That aside, I know flying must have been an uneasy feeling for you and having people look at you ‘suspect’ couldn’t have been fun either. As far as picking kicking up a fuss, it sadly is what it is. The excessiveness of the scans are a bit much in my opinion; I can’t change it so I yield as not to be further probed in ways I’d find violating.

      We can only hope that something like this will never happen again.

      • Oh we weren’t in the Trade Center, we worked in Morristown, New Jersey. Now this guy that had just left our office about a month earlier worked in the WTC complex and we called him to make sure that he was alright. He walked outside and talked to us before the Trade Center fell. He was standing there talking about the amount of debris that was falling; which is why he and the people in his office left……about 15 minutes before the towers fell.

        Now Marc, he was lucky.

        I hope that nothing like this EVER happens again, but my great grandmother used to say something. She’d say “wish in one hand, shit in the other and just see which one gets filled up the quickest.” So…..I don’t know.

        By the way, I believe that those people on the plane were looking at me in hopes that I would have been with them, not against them.

      • Thanks for clarifying and it’s still scary any way you slice it.

        Well, that’s good. I bet it was the only time a white man looked at you in the affirmative…lol!

  5. Blu, this is really an excellent post. I still can’t wrap my mind around it all. To be honest, between 9/11 and then Katrina a few years later, I think my mind goes into shutdown mode because it’s just too much to handle.

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