Everyone remembers where they were when they found out about the attacks on 9/11. I was sitting in my office working on 2002 projections when I received an IM from my brother “hey Sammy some idiot just flew into one of the trade center towers.
I was working for one of the Cable TV networks at the time so I had a TV in my office. I turned on the TV to see the second tower impact–I thought it was an instant replay of the first one. Much of the rest of the morning is a blur, my staff crowded into my office where we watched in horror as people jumped off a tower to their deaths. Then again as each tower collapsed.
At twelve noon there was an announcement that the east river crossings were once again open. I raced for the garage and began a 40 mile drive that took way over four hours.
I worked near Times Square about two miles from the now smoldering ruins of the towers. I can still feel the air. As I breathed it felt like I was inhaling particles along with the oxygen.
I remember the surreal visions from my car as I drove home that day. The shocked people who were crowding the street, struggling to get off that tiny island as soon as possible, fearing another attack any second. There was impenetrable curtain of black over the East River that I saw out the car window as I went over the 59th Street Bridge. A curtain that replaced the view of the Twin Towers that were usually there.
I was confronted with a noxious burning smell seeping in through the car vents.
September 11 was not the first terrorist attack on the United States. That attack was foreshadowed by incidents such as the first trade center bombing and the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen.
Those earlier acts were treated by the United States as crimes, each perpetuated by small group of terrorist operators. It was only after 9/11 that this country realized that there was a worldwide network of people willing to kill themselves to bring down our way of life.
Only after 9/11 did we stop searching for “criminals” and begin a war against terrorism.
These are some of the sights of 9/11/01. The Horrors, the Heroes. May we never forget the day our lives changed. May we always honor those heroes. May the memories of the dead always be for a blessing. And may God Bless these United States of America.
Each person who died that day was an individual with their own story, In order to recognize them as individuals, many bloggers have picked one victim and tells their story. Smoothstone tells the story of Welles Remy Crowther.