Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Remembering 9/11: Across the Hudson

 
Tribute in Light
Tribute in Light, September 2002. Image by Oblomov.

Everything about September 11, 2001, was unprecedented. That day witnessed, among other things, the largest maritime evacuation in history. More than half a million people stranded on Manhattan Island were taken off by boat in the course of eight hours. By comparison, at Dunkirk in late May of 1940, some 338,000 allied troops were evacuated across the English Channel over the course of nine days. There is a moving short film called Boatlift about this amazing and massive instance of spontaneous cooperative order amidst chaos and destruction, which I highly recommend.

I was part of that 9/11 boatlift. I’m pretty sure that I was on the first boat, among the first refugees from Lower Manhattan to cross the Hudson. I don’t want to use the word “survivors” because, at least in my case, my life was never really in danger. My story is completely devoid of heroism. But I did witness the events of that day from uncomfortably close range, and an anniversary seems as good an occasion as any to write it down, before the memories, which are still vivid, fade.

My neighborhood, August 2001. Image by Oblomov.

In 2001, I was living in Battery Park City – a park-like, mostly residential riverfront neighborhood on Manhattan’s southwestern tip, built on top of the rock and soil excavated during the construction of the World Trade Center and dumped into the Hudson River. My apartment was located in Gateway Plaza – the residential complex nearest the Twin Towers. Every morning I walked some 300 yards from my front door, through the courtyard, past the World Financial Center, across West Street, through the Marriott, into the lobby of the North Tower and down into the Cortland St. subway station, where I would catch the uptown Number 9 train to Times Square.

That Tuesday morning, as I was about to cross West Street, I heard the unusually loud sound of a jet, like an airshow where the Blue Angels are doing a low fly-by. The jet noise was so loud, and its echo so amplified by the skyscrapers and canyons of Lower Manhattan, that it nearly swallowed the sound of the impact as American 11 slammed into the north facade of One World Trade Center. By the time I looked up, the top of the building was exploding and thousands of chunks of debris were slowly, parabolically arcing down toward me. A quarter-mile up they looked small, but some were surely the size of refrigerators and small automobiles. I had to run pretty hard to avoid being hit. When I caught my breath, I remember looking at my watch to check the date, thinking it would probably be one to remember. It was 8:47 a.m. and a minute had elapsed from the time of impact.

A close college friend had lived through the 1993 attack and was still working in the World Financial Center on 9/11. He had the good sense to pack up immediately and take the ferry home to Hoboken. I did not have my friend’s presence of mind. Instead, I loitered in a crowd of shocked onlookers and watched as smoke began to engulf the top of the North Tower. After ten minutes, I went back inside my apartment to make phone calls, as I could no longer place calls from my cell phone. My wife, who had left earlier that morning, was driving to her job in New Brunswick, NJ, and would not be reachable for another half hour. I was able to reach my dad in Chicago and told him not to get excited, that everything was okay, but he should probably turn on the TV or radio. As soon as I said this, the windows shook and I felt the dull shock wave of the second explosion inside my chest. Seconds later, a large mob of screaming people was flooding into the Gateway Plaza courtyard outside my windows. I told dad that I had to go and would call later.

For the next 50 minutes I milled around aimlessly on the Hudson River esplanade and watched the unfolding unreality and horror of the towers burning, and of people helplessly, desperately clinging to the upper floor windows. The air was thick with shouts, sirens, helicopter rotors, and eerie cracking sounds coming from the twin infernos. A guy in an expensive suit next to me said something about al Qaeda. A collective gasp swept through the crowd as the first jumpers began to fall. You could clearly see their ties fluttering in the air as they plummeted.

When the top of the South Tower began its sickening descent, I was in the middle of a large crowd that had gathered on the embankment, and my first thought was that I would probably be trampled to death in the ensuing chaos. A New York Fire Department boat was moored at the seawall alongside the esplanade, and I jumped on it, as did a few dozen others. It was a good five- or six-foot drop, and from the corner of my eye I could see an older woman with white hair tumble down and hit her head hard on the steel deck next to me. Others were falling into the water. Moments later we were engulfed in pitch darkness, as the dust cloud enveloped us. When it cleared some five minutes later, we pulled people from the water and attended to the injuries, which appeared to be mostly minor. Within 15 minutes or so, the crew fired up the engine and headed across the river to Jersey City with its dazed, speechless human cargo, covered head to toe in grey dust and debris. There were a lot of boats in New York Harbor now, and they seemed to be headed for Lower Manhattan. What looked to me like an F-15 was circling high overhead. At 10:28 we watched silently from the middle of the Hudson as the second tower came down.

Amazingly, when we got to the New Jersey side, a decontamination crew in yellow biohazard suits was ready and waiting for us. I was one of the first off the boat and through the decontamination gauntlet, which basically involved getting hosed down like Jules Winnfield and Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction, although we kept our clothes on. A camera crew and local TV reporter with really terrific hair were deployed at the end of the gauntlet. There was no way around her, so I stood there, dripping, with the camera in my face, as the reporter asked the following question: “There are reports that these planes may have been carrying chemical or biological agents. Your reaction?” I responded, without conviction, that this seemed doubtful and excused myself. If this footage ever aired, it certainly did not make me famous.

The last episode worth mentioning happened two days later, on Thursday, after limited access to Manhattan was restored, and my wife and I were able to get back on the island. The city had set up an information center at one of the Chelsea piers and we headed there, hoping to learn how to save our two cats, left behind in the apartment. A pet rescue operation was in the works, we were told, which was remarkable, considering all the other priorities the city had to deal with. We spent most of the day waiting amid the throngs lining the West Side Highway, cheering the firefighters and recovery workers as they drove past.

Around nine in the evening a bus took a group of about two dozen residents, including me, down into the closed military zone south of Canal. This entire large area of the city, including Chinatown, the Lower East Side, Tribeca, and the Financial District, in addition to Battery Park City, was a crime scene, emptied of its 200,000 residents and closed to civilians. Except for the police and military checkpoints, historic downtown New York was a dark, lifeless ghost town. As we looped around the tip of Manhattan and approached Battery Park City from the south, we entered a landscape of truly post-apocalyptic devastation. “I felt like I was in a movie,” is a phrase you often hear from people who lived through 9/11. But what we saw transcended every cinematic cliché and overwhelmed the senses – more Dürer or Dante than Spielberg. Humvees mounted with .50 caliber machine guns secured a wide perimeter. Ghostly figures in white biohazard suits and camouflaged military personnel in respirators lurked in the shadows and were occasionally illuminated by blinding portable light towers. The ground was blanketed by a thick layer of fine, dirty-grey powder, and strewn with millions of pieces of confetti and office paper. A sickening chemical stench burned the nostrils. Towering above it all, in the direction of “the pile,” a foul yellow miasma rose a thousand feet into the night sky, illuminated by a thousand lights.

We were told that all the buildings near Ground Zero were unstable, and given a maximum of five minutes inside. We were to take only our pets, no personal items, and get out. The elevators were not operable, so those who lived on the 34th floor were out of luck.

Inside the apartment everything was jarringly normal. The lights worked. I was relieved to find the windows shut and intact. PJ and Winston were utterly bored and insouciant – I was no hero even to them. Very reluctantly, they agreed to be crated. I thought about gathering some valuables in violation of the edict, since the apartment was on the third floor and I therefore had some extra time. But then I remembered that we had no valuables to speak of, and got back on the bus, a homeless man with cats.

My state of mind throughout the events of those days was a kind of numb disbelief and an inability to fully grasp the reality taking place in front of my own eyes. I understand people who say that they experienced 9/11 as though they were watching a movie. These events were so without precedent in physical reality or normal human experience, so massive, so extravagantly theatrical, that their only readily available reference point was Hollywood fantasy. Fourteen years later, I am still unable to fully comprehend the enormity of it.

Looking back, the few months following 9/11 seemed at the time to signal the resurgence of the kind of liberal nationalism that I believe is our country’s last best hope. If any event could serve as a catalyst for this kind of revival, it was this devastating blow against the heart of American power – the first successful military attack on New York since August 1776. Alas, it was only a mirage. I am sorry to say that the long-term effects of 9/11 have been either negligible or negative. The wave of patriotism, solidarity, and national resolve that followed the attacks subsided fairly quickly, without leaving much of a permanent mark on the American psyche. In fact, within weeks it was quite clear that the entire infrastructure of nutty multicultural utopianism and therapeutic psychobabble was still as firmly in place as ever inside the heads of everyone in charge of anything important.

The attacks obviously had a huge impact on American foreign and national security policies, which were re-oriented toward Islamic terrorism, or whatever PC euphemism we are supposed to use now. Unfortunately, this problem, while a reasonably serious one, is basically insoluble. At least we in the United States have no clue what to do about it and its root causes. Nevertheless, we are paying a high price for managing this problem. No war has ever made any government smaller, nor expanded anyone’s zone of personal liberty. Maybe the best that can be hoped is that it will finally sink in with us that the “root causes” approach to military intervention is a fool’s errand, but I’m not holding my breath.

Certainly nothing we have done since 9/11 has made the problem go away. We are in a far worse position relative to the Islamic world today than we were on September 10, 2001, and it’s going to get much worse before it gets better.

Finally, we have, thank God, managed to avoid another attack any more serious than the underwear bomber. I don’t know if this is because we have been lucky or good. But I still can’t shake the feeling that the September 11 attacks were a prelude to bigger things. When the next mass casualty event happens, as it surely will, it will be an order of magnitude bigger, but we will have been primed for it psychologically because of 9/11. I think we have already accepted the reality that the Pax Americana is over, and we will once again see cities incinerated within our lifetimes.

This piece was first published on September 11, 2015.

There are 42 comments.

  1. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    This is very important. Thank you.

    • #1
    • September 9, 2015, at 4:45 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  2. PsychLynne Inactive

    Thanks so much for sharing this. It is hard to remember the “unknowing” of the that day–seeing the damage and not knowing why.

    • #2
    • September 9, 2015, at 5:18 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Thanks for this post.

    My father-in-law was a few weeks from retirement on that day. Although he was a charter member of Windows On The World and had worked in the towers for 20 years, in 2001 he was working about a block away. He made it down the steps in 1993, but I doubt he could have done it again in 2001.

    He was on the street when the first tower came down. The debris knock him over and he laid there, covered in dust waiting to die. Just then two men came by, picked him up, and brought this old Irishman to the first open storefront, which was a bar.

    After that he did have to walk to the waterfront. He even climbed a fence to get there and a ferry took him to Jersey City. My wife waited for him at the train station back home. Others at that station waited for ones who would never come home.

    My father-in-law was very impressed with the police and ordinary citizens who were helping each other out at a time when panic and self-preservation might have been expected.

    Oblomov: But I still can’t shake the feeling that the September 11 attacks were a prelude to bigger things.

    Sadly I have to agree with this post, we could see worse than this in the years to come.

    • #3
    • September 9, 2015, at 5:43 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  4. Manfred Arcane Inactive

    Thanks so much for the perspective. Your account reminds me of Andre Malraux telling Whitaker Chambers in a letter, “You are one of those who did not return from hell with empty hands.”

    • #4
    • September 9, 2015, at 6:34 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    When I took my son to the US Merchant Marine Academy in 2010, I was mesmerized by a plaque overlooking the Long Island Sound and relating the part Midshipmen had played in the boat lift.

    Here is a video describing it.

    • #5
    • September 9, 2015, at 6:51 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  6. Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. Coolidge

    Gripping. All of us who lived through that day have our stories, though most are from a much greater remove.

    Last month my family and I visited New York, and one morning we went to see the 9/11 memorial. As I stood looking at those immense square pools that mark the footprints of the towers, I couldn’t quite convince myself that I was standing at the spot where those events happened, events that I watched on a small television hanging from the ceiling in my workplace.

    It’s astounding to realize that in the next presidential election, many people will vote who have no memory of that day.

    • #6
    • September 9, 2015, at 8:29 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  7. Mister Magic Inactive

    I’m still angry. I will never not be, it seems.

    • #7
    • September 9, 2015, at 2:20 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  8. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Mister Magic:I’m still angry. I will never not be, it seems.

    Still say we should have nuked somebody in response, instead of spending 14 years and trillions of dollars trying to help that backwards part of the world.

    • #8
    • September 9, 2015, at 2:38 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  9. Chris Johnson Inactive

    Thanks, Oblomov.

    Most of us observed from a much greater distance. My buddy Jose and I were working on a crane, 80 feet over the St Johns River and he asked me what I thought of all the news about shark attacks, while eye-balling the river. I told him that was good news, as all must be well with the world if the newscasts were all filled with evergreen shark stories.

    We headed off to gather some materials from a local supplier and while we were there, a guy ran in off the street and yelled, “if you have a TV in here, turn it on!”

    As customers and employees looked on in shock, Jose said, “Well, I guess no more sharks.”

    • #9
    • September 9, 2015, at 3:23 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. Concretevol Thatcher

    Thank you for writing this….it was a horrible day but I almost think everyone (at least those that were not there) need to watch the footage every year on the anniversary of the attack, just as a reminder.

    • #10
    • September 9, 2015, at 3:23 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  11. Trink Coolidge
    Trink Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’ve never read an account like this. I am grateful for it – and truly sorry that you must carry these memories the rest of your life.

    • #11
    • September 9, 2015, at 4:06 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  12. Jules PA Member

    What an amazing reflection on that day, thank you for sharing it.

    I am so glad you were able to escape unharmed. I was so far removed from any direct connection, I can only count myself blessed, even though that day is among my most vivid memories.

    I teach HS, and all my current students really have no recollection of this traumatic event. I will recall my day to them on Friday…they need to hear it told, read about it. I don’t actually think they need to see it. I remember it so clearly, personally I don’t ever watch the videos.

    I mourn for the families who lost their loved ones on that day, for those who made the emergency response and died, and for all the service men and women since.

    I do worry something like it, or worse, will come our way…

    • #12
    • September 9, 2015, at 4:47 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  13. Skarv Coolidge
    Skarv Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Thank you Oblomov. Very important meditation. I love it.

    I was in an office building of JPMC (4 NY Plaza) and saw one of the towers going down causing people to run down Broad street from the NYSE with a dust cloud growing behind them. We were locked in the office building until afternoon when we were allowed to walk home (Upper West in my case) through a 1-2 inch of building debris that felt like snow covering the streets.

    • #13
    • September 11, 2015, at 3:34 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. aardo vozz Member

    Vance Richards:Thanks for this post.

    My father-in-law was a few weeks from retirement on that day. Although he was a charter member of Windows On The World and had worked in the towers for 20 years, in 2001 he was working about a block away. He made it down the steps in 1993, but I doubt he could have done it again in 2001.

    He was on the street when the first tower came down. The debris knock him over and he laid there, covered in dust waiting to die. Just then two men came by, picked him up, and brought this old Irishman to the first open storefront, which was a bar.

    After that he did have to walk to the waterfront. He even climbed a fence to get there and a ferry took him to Jersey City. My wife waited for him at the train station back home. Others at that station waited for ones who would never come home.

    My father-in-law was very impressed with the police and ordinary citizens who were helping each other out at a time when panic and self-preservation might have been expected.

    Oblomov: But I still can’t shake the feeling that the September 11 attacks were a prelude to bigger things.

    Sadly I have to agree with this post, we could see worse than this in the years to come.

    Yes. Especially when the Iranians get their nukes

    • #14
    • September 11, 2015, at 4:23 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. Dave of Barsham Member

    Concretevol:Thank you for writing this….it was a horrible day but I almost think everyone (at least those that were not there) need to watch the footage every year on the anniversary of the attack, just as a reminder.

    This year I watched a couple of movies (what were finally made) and news footage and it brought back the fear, confusion, and anger from that day, and I wasn’t anywhere near New York. One thing I wish would have happened early on is that it wouldn’t have become “unseemly” to show the footage of what happened on the news on the anniversary.

    • #15
    • September 11, 2015, at 4:57 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  16. livingtheLoneStarlife Inactive

    As a kid, I remember my Mom’s story of exactly where she was when Kennedy was shot (she was in high school only 30 miles north of Dallas).

    Now, my kids hear the story from my wife and me about where we were on 9/11. I was in my office in Westlake Texas, far removed from NYC, but the numbness I felt that day is still fresh 14 years later.

    I distinctly remember a phone call with my wife a few hours after the towers fell, and her crying about the world our kids (our oldest turned 2 on 9/10/2001) would grow up in. We both knew things would never be the same.

    • #16
    • September 11, 2015, at 5:47 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  17. Says You Inactive

    Oblomov:
    I am sorry to say that the long-term effects of 9/11 have been either negligible or negative. The wave of patriotism, solidarity, and national resolve that followed the attacks subsided fairly quickly, without leaving much of a permanent mark on the American psyche.

    After the loss of life, this is, to me, the saddest result of 9/11. Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve read many stories like it over the last 14 years. Every time it hits me right in the gut, making me angry all over again.

    • #17
    • September 11, 2015, at 7:00 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  18. FightinInPhilly Thatcher

    Exceptionally well written Oblomov. Thank you. There were several moments I had no real awareness of, especially people jumping onto the ferries. I have a few very distinct memories from that day:

    1. Walking to the subway that Tuesday morning and looking around and thinking “man…what a gorgeous day! This is just a perfect day.”

    2. Crossing 6th ave on 40th street after I surfaced and seeing the smoke at the southern end of the island. My roommate walking with me said- “whoa, big fire. Looks like City Hall.” And I replied, “no- further south- near the Trade Center.”

    3. After the towers fell, there was an intense debate in the office about whether to stay put, go home, go to Central Park (no, they would expect that, we thought) and no one have an especially good plan. We eventually just left.

    4. The very long walk home to the Upper West Side. The crowds on the sidewalk were as thick as leaving a Yankee game- but no one spoke. No cabs honked. Except for the sirens, the entire city was on mute.

    5. The smell.

    • #18
    • September 11, 2015, at 7:24 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  19. Fricosis Guy Listener

    Miffed White Male:

    Mister Magic:I’m still angry. I will never not be, it seems.

    Still say we should have nuked somebody in response, instead of spending 14 years and trillions of dollars trying to help that backwards part of the world.

    Not somebody, but the cities that aided and abetted these animals. Kandahar and Peshawar always came to mind first: two nukes each, just like there were planned to be two planes for NYC and DC.

    • #19
    • September 11, 2015, at 8:24 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. Dave Sussman Contributor

    6 weeks ago, after visiting the museum and memorial, my sons and I walked the Esplanade. It’s literally right next to the WTC. Thanks for the post. It was a perspective I had never read or heard before.

    • #20
    • September 11, 2015, at 8:34 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  21. danok1 Member

    Oblomov: “I felt like I was in a movie,” is a phrase you often hear from people who lived through 9/11. But what we saw transcended every cinematic cliché and overwhelmed the senses – more Dürer or Dante than Spielberg. Humvees mounted with .50 caliber machine guns secured a wide perimeter. Ghostly figures in white biohazard suits and camouflaged military personnel in respirators lurked in the shadows and were occasionally illuminated by blinding portable light towers. The ground was blanketed by a thick layer of fine, dirty-grey powder, and strewn with millions of pieces of confetti and office paper. A sickening chemical stench burned the nostrils. Towering above it all, in the direction of “the pile,” a foul yellow miasma rose a thousand feet into the night sky, illuminated by a thousand lights.

    I was in the Financial District that day, and evacuated up South Street, then through Alphabet City to 6th. You describe it perfectly, especially the “I felt like I was in a movie.” I’ll never forget returning a few days later and having to show my ID, etc., to soldiers at the Bowling Green station, as well as the sight of Bowling Green and Battery Park turned into military camps.

    FightinInPhilly (View Comment):

    4. The very long walk home to the Upper West Side. The crowds on the sidewalk were as thick as leaving a Yankee game- but no one spoke. No cabs honked. Except for the sirens, the entire city was on mute.

    5. The smell.

    Yes, the eerie silence, the NYPD cadets directing traffic, and the smell, which lingered for months.

    • #21
    • September 11, 2018, at 1:32 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. Bryan G. Stephens Inactive
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Thank you for sharing. 

    I will never stop being angry. The people who wanted this to happen are still our there. 

    • #22
    • September 11, 2018, at 2:56 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  23. Kephalithos Member

    Concretevol (View Comment): Thank you for writing this….it was a horrible day but I almost think everyone (at least those that were not there) need to watch the footage every year on the anniversary of the attack, just as a reminder.

    Yes. For those without experience, it’s the only way to grasp the sheer scale and horror of what happened.

    On September 11, 2001, I was barely a kindergartener. When the planes struck, I happened to be frolicking in a McDonald’s playground (remember those?). I recall rushing home with my mom, listening to the radio. I sensed that something was wrong. But, still, the attack remained an abstraction.

    Until I watched the footage. And until I gained the emotional maturity to perceive it as real.

    • #23
    • September 11, 2018, at 2:58 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. Kephalithos Member

    Oblomov: “I felt like I was in a movie,” is a phrase you often hear from people who lived through 9/11. But what we saw transcended every cinematic cliché and overwhelmed the senses – more Dürer or Dante than Spielberg.

    People talk about the September 11 attack as though it was a single event — one grand trauma through which New Yorkers suffered. But it wasn’t. It was, in fact, a series of events, each more unthinkable than the last: the first plane’s impact, then the second plane’s; the collapse of one tower, then the collapse of the other.

    No screenwriter could invent a fiction so horrifying as that morning’s unfolding reality.

    • #24
    • September 11, 2018, at 3:15 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  25. Doctor Robert Member

    Fricosis Guy (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male:

    Mister Magic:I’m still angry. I will never not be, it seems.

    Still say we should have nuked somebody in response, instead of spending 14 years and trillions of dollars trying to help that backwards part of the world.

    Not somebody, but the cities that aided and abetted these animals. Kandahar and Peshawar always came to mind first: two nukes each, just like there were planned to be two planes for NYC and DC.

    No. Mecca. At the height of the Haj.

    It’s not too late to correct that error in a way that would end the Western conflict with Islam permanently, but I’ll stop now.

    • #25
    • September 11, 2018, at 4:12 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  26. Columbo Member

    Thank you for sharing this personal story of your first hand witness of the events of that fateful day. It reminded me of this similarly striking story by @judgemental:

    Witness, Part 2

    • #26
    • September 11, 2018, at 5:14 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  27. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    My daughter is a kindergarten teacher in North Carolina. She was carrying the torch today. From her Facebook page:

    Today was a very important day.

    17 years ago the towers fell leaving many without their loved ones. As I was with my class today and we did calendar I told my kids about this special day. They asked, “what is so special about it Ms. Hill?” I said, that when I was in 2nd grade two towers in New York fell and our moms and dads were called up to help protect us here at home. I told them that I was afraid that my Uncle (who worked in Washington) was hurt. He was fine, but others were not. I was tearing up in front of them as I was telling them about my experience in coming home from school and my dad telling me that something had happened. I pointed to my Marine flag posted in my room and said “See that flag, that’s the Marine flag. My brother is a Marine and he is a part of the people whose job it is to keep us safe”. I then turn to my TA and say, “it is hard to believe that what was a life event for us is now in the history books and being taught.” I told the kids, I have a younger brother who was not born yet and he is learning about this from books.

    It is important no matter what age to always remember that this day impacted a lot of lives. That in the last 17 years there have been moms and dads that have helped protect us. We are proud to be Americans and we have fought to be free.
    #9/11alwaysremember #nevertooyoung 

    I guess I raised her ok, eh?

    • #27
    • September 11, 2018, at 5:21 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  28. Judge Mental Member

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Thank you for sharing this personal story of your first hand witness of the events of that fateful day. It reminded me of this similarly striking story by judgemental:

    Witness, Part 2

    This did feel eerily familiar. Powerful stuff Oblomov.

    • #28
    • September 11, 2018, at 5:34 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  29. The Reticulator Member

    Concretevol (View Comment):

    Thank you for writing this….it was a horrible day but I almost think everyone (at least those that were not there) need to watch the footage every year on the anniversary of the attack, just as a reminder.

    I have never seen any footage of it, other than what I saw for a minute or so in the doctor’s waiting room while both towers were still standing and nobody had much idea what had happened. But it’s my policy not to be influenced by television footage of anything. 

    • #29
    • September 11, 2018, at 9:14 PM PDT
    • Like
  30. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    Instugator (View Comment):

    When I took my son to the US Merchant Marine Academy in 2010, I was mesmerized by a plaque overlooking the Long Island Sound and relating the part Midshipmen had played in the boat lift.

    Here is a video describing it.

    This made me cry. I didn’t know this story. They answered the call; our own Dunkirk.

     

     

    • #30
    • September 11, 2018, at 10:02 PM PDT
    • 1 like