I knew I wanted to write about 9/11, but I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to say.  I spent a good deal of yesterday thinking things over.  So today, without snark, sarcasm or politics, I will give you my story.

I was working as an Account Manager for a financial services software company.  I was at my clients that day, midtown Manhattan, a few miles north of the World Trade Center.  One of my co-workers was at his client, located in the towers- he did not survive.  I was 7 months pregnant.  I have many memories and recollections of that day, and it’s immediate aftermath, but the following are the two which stand out in my mind.

At about noon, I was walking southbound towards my apartment.  I saw a man completely covered in ash and debris.  Completely.  I knew that he had to have been right there as the towers fell.  Right there- ground zero.  I just stared, mouth open.  I looked into his face, but he had not bothered to wipe anything off himself- his glasses were still completely covered.  I think he saw what happened, and just started walking north.  I think he did not want to see anything ever again.

I will never shake the image of this man from my mind.  Never.  I only saw one person covered in ash, yet this image……. ( maybe I passed more people like this, but my defense mechanism had kicked in, and I couldn’t visualize anything anymore)……I know how seeing this man felt- it ripped open my heart and soul in ways from which I will never recover…….so, I can’t even imagine how that man felt, how he feels today.  I don’t know how he sleeps, how he wakes up, how he gets on with his day.  I also don’t know if he does any of those things, or if the post trauma has just knocked him out.  I don’t know if he was ever able to clean off his glasses.

I remember that evening.  As the fire trucks, police cars, ambulances and SUV’s carrying first responders began heading north on 3rd Avenue, people began pouring into the street, cheering for the heroes.  The battle that they had just fought, knowing that the amount of their brethren that was lost that day…..there was no possible way we could ever thank them for what they did.  And these men and women would continue to work at that site- the task overwhelming and surreal.  There are tears in my eyes as I write this, because I can’t even fathom the courage and the bravery of those who willingly go into battle to help the people that can’t help themselves.

I can’t help but think about the catastrophes that have happened recently, the hurricanes and tornados and fires and earthquakes.  All the horrible things that happen on a daily basis- and the people that selflessly step in to help.

So today I ask of you the following- (and this is cumulative for all the horrible things that have happened, not solely 9/11)

  1. Take a moment to remember the victims- the ones that lost their lives
  2. Take a moment to remember the survivors- the families, the first hand people like the man I mentioned, and the second hand ones like me
  3. Take a moment to remember the heroes, both in uniform and out of uniform

I send out my love and prayers to all of you.

 

57 thoughts on “Remember

  1. Wow. You painted a soul-touching image of that man covered in ash, and now I can’t forget him either. I remember not being able to sleep for several nights after 9/11, trying to wrap my mind around the horror so many people experienced that day; Thanking God yet feeling guilty that I was safe and fine in sunny Michigan. Thank you for your thoughts today.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember 9/11 like it happened yesterday. I was still living in NY when it happened. My former boss died in the towers, a woman who lived on my block, a friend’s sister. It was the most somber time ever. I couldn’t get in touch with my husband that day. He worked in Manhattan, but not in the twin towers. Turns out that when he was about to exit the train to go to work, someone told him to get back on and go home, so he did. It was the last train to leave Manhattan that day.
    I will never forget what happened, or the multitudes that helped save lives. Many paid with their lives that day, or years later when they became sick from the debris. Thank you for reminding us not to forget. I don’t think I ever will.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Thank you for sharing this! I remember vividly watching it all unfold on television while holding my youngest son who was only 3 months old at that time. I remember thinking …what kind of world have I brought this child into. What kind of evil will he face throughout his lifetime. As the hours, days, weeks and months following would prove …I was reminded that while, in many ways, our children are living in a much different world than we grew up in, it is still a world filled with people who sincerely care for and love one another and are willing to put self aside during such tragic times. It is still a beautiful world filled with beautiful people that no amount of evil can destroy. God bless!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. A heart wrenching tragedy. Can’t imagine the trauma of that man covered in ash and debris post the catastrophe . Thanks for giving voice to his grief . Thanks for writing this poignant tribute.
    I add a prayer for the families of the victims around the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have tears in my eyes reading your post. I remember my coworkers and I in shock for days after the towers fell. I can’t image what you went thru during and after. My heart goes out to you and everyone on this day of rememberance. Also to everyone dealing with the hurricanes. God bless everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Amazing how we remember everything. In Technicolor.

    You were pregnant on that dreadful day. I went to Lenox Hill Hospital to give blood that, turned out, no one needed.
    So glad you felt to write about it. Really. We owe them that. Susannah

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A really beautiful post. It really was a traumatic day. I can’t imagine being in Manhattan that day…. Many of my friends were in Hoboken that day at Stevens Institute and watching – having the Hudson as a buffer wasn’t even enough, so being right in Manhattan must have been hell.
    That poor man walking. Such a haunting image….

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I too felt the pull to post about this, doesn’t feel like that much time has passed! I don’t live in the area or have family or friends that lived their either, so it’s different to hear about that day from someone who was in the area. It was tragic and still is, I don’t think anyone who was touched by that day has ever truly recovered! My thoughts are with the victims families, the people who saw way more then they ever should have and the people who had to make terrible decisions that day. My thoughts are also with everyone who was touched by this tragedy in other ways, like yourself! This was a very nice post, thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was in grad school and the job was in security. The manager of the building took us to a site where the DEA and other federal offices were. There were people on the roof checking our security downtown. Again, thanks for remembering. I wonder about the man covered in ashes also you wrote about.

    Liked by 1 person

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