Tag: 9-11

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud Politifact for not trying to explain away the birth control smear Sen. Kamala Harris aimed at Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and giving Harris “four Pinocchios.”  They also cringe as a new batch of polls show President Trump’s approval taking a hit in recent weeks, because that may mean bad news in November for Republicans in competitive races.  And they pause to remember the anguish of the terrorist attacks that happened on this date in 2001 and the resolve we still need to confront today’s threats.

Remembering 9/11: Those Who Helped

 

Dr. Galt at Grand Central StationOn the morning of September 11, 2001, I was a third-year medical clerk rounding at a community hospital in Northeastern Ohio. One of our patients was fixated on the television when we entered his room. He almost shouted: “A plane crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City.” Our team watched the smoke billowing from the North Tower. Then the second plane hit the South Tower. My knees buckled and I felt nauseated. But we kept rounding.

The second plane was a splash of ice-cold water onto our faces. When the South Tower was gone, so was the hope that this was all a tragic accident. Also gone was our naivety about the world. Martin Amis wrote that September 11, 2001, “will perhaps never be wholly assimilable.” More than a decade later, I am still trying to figure it out.

That night I received a phone message from a medical school friend who walked from a hospital in Brooklyn to Lower Manhattan to help. I could tell by his voice that mixed with his palpable exhaustion was a sense of triumph. Like many in New York that day, he had seen evil, met it, and made a small but significant contribution to showing the resilience of our nation’s greatest city. Just think about it: As people walked out of the city, my friend and others — from Mayor Giuliani to medical students, EMTs, off-duty firefighters, policemen and physicians — rushed in. How utterly magnificent.The Faces of the Missing at Grand Central Station

Radical Daughter

 

556756_10150877885149072_745932628_nOn September 11, 2001 I was sitting on the floor of my sister’s living room, babysitting her one-year-old daughter. We were lazily playing with the afternoon news in the background. The first thing I noticed was how the anchor’s voice changes. The normally-chipper woman was saying “Wait, wait,” while staring to the side of the camera. There had been a horrible accident, she said, as I watched the smoke pour out of the first tower. When the second plane hit, I hoped beyond hope she was right.

I had just gotten back from a year in France. A few months earlier, I’d been standing in a crowded bar on Place de Clichy, celebrating my 20th birthday. I remember that night, although several bottles of bad white wine say I shouldn’t. I was surrounded by my peers: other upper middle-class liberals who had fled to Paris in order to fulfill the fantasy of their existence. We had come to this historical city to live the life of songs and books and Technicolor movies. We were radicals. We were heroes. We were going to change the world.

The people with me in that bar were a random sample of the political atmosphere of Europe at the time. Members of the autonomic environmentalist movement, militant feminist, pro-Palestinians, and your run-of the-mill anti-government thugs. Having a friend who had been jailed for rioting was as necessary as a Malcolm X t-shirt and a backpocket paperback of Catcher in the Rye. I gladly picked up that uniform, just as I picked up rocks and banners knowing that this was the ticket to ride.