Post 100

After I published my last post, I noticed that it was post #99.  The next one (this post), being the 100th post is certainly a milestone in my blogging.  (I don’t really think of myself as a blogger, but I guess that I am … hmm.)  So, I was thinking for the past few days “what can I post about on my 100th post?”  Today, I received an email from my uncle and I immediately knew that the subject would be appropriate — 11 September 2001.

The email my uncle sent me was a prayer chain.  It was entitled “Meet Me in the Stairwell”, and it made me think.  My thoughts are what I will share in this post.  First, the email began with powerful pictures of September 11th.  Looking at these pictures, I realized that in 2001, I did not understand the impact of the events that happened on that tragic day.  The world trade centers were absolutely enormous.  The actions of many were nothing short of heroic.  The fact that this could happen at all was terrifying.  But, let’s continue with the letter:

You say you will never forget where you were when
you heard the news On September 11, 2001.
Neither will I.

Where was I on the morning of September 11?  I was in class, at the Mount. Specifically, I was in math class.  The announcement was made very solemnly shortly after the first plane hit.  Then, as the day unfolded, we were kept abreast of the events.  After the first block, we had a homeroom session.  We didn’t do our usual announcements in this session.  Instead, we watched the TV coverage of the attacks for 15 minutes.  I knew that was a tremendous blow to the US, but perhaps what happened in AP History class formed my opinion of how to handle the day.  As soon as we walked into class, the teacher acknowledged what had happened that morning.  Then he said something along the lines, “but, we can’t discuss that now.  AP History must go on.”  And, he started just where he left off at the end of the last class.  Looking back, his words have had a profound impact on me.  When things go wrong, I often say to myself “well, life goes on.  Get over it, Brit.”  However, this attitude caused me to be baffled when I found one of my friends crying at lunch.  She knew no one who lived in New York (nor has been there herself), but she had mourned the loss of the people who died just as though she knew them personally.  With my opinion shaped by the words of by my AP History teacher, our reactions to the day could not have been more different as I did not let it affect me emotionally.

I was on the 110th floor in a smoke filled room
with a man who called his wife to say ‘Good-Bye.’ I
held his fingers steady as he dialed. I gave him the
peace to say, ‘Honey, I am not going to make it, but it
is OK..I am ready to go.’

When I read this, I first thought it was a survivor talking.  I quickly realized the “I” in the story is God.  But, it started me thinking — what floor was the highest floor to have survivors escape after the attacks?  Certainly, 110 was too high.  After looking around the internet for a while, I found a USA Today article that gave amazing statistics about the collapse of the towers in NYC.  The 92nd floor of the north tower had survivors.  That astonishes me.  It is tiring to go down 92 flights of stairs, yet alone to do it knowing (but probably not yet comprehending) that something tragic just happened.  Perhaps the adrenaline kicks in and you do it autonomously.  I think of how long fire-drills take in the buildings I am used to, with maximum 6 floors.  The evacuation of the WTC was at such a bigger scale, that I cannot even begin to comprehend it.

The poem goes on, and I will forward it to you if you’d like.  But, the beginning of it was what had the most powerful impact on me.

Ten years later, the attacks on 11 September 2001 are more realistic to me than they were in 2001.  Inside my high school, we were protected from the terrorists.  We were able to watch the devastating footage behind the protection of many miles allowed by the TV broadcast.  In the past ten years, I’ve moved out of the shelter of my parent’s house (and heck, even my own house).  I’ve known people who were robbed (and even kidnapped) from the streets that I have walked on.  I’ve been followed at airports (don’t worry, I went straight to the police!) and I’ve lost some of the most important people to me (Poppy, Poppop, and Nanny).  I now know personally that tragic things can happen to me.  Experiencing these things has helped me to understand how terrifying the terrorist attacks really were.

If you want, let me know where you were when you heard the news on 11 September 2001.

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3 Responses to “Post 100”

  1. Terese G. Fasy Says:

    I was in the kitchen watching the Today Show. Katie Couric and Matt Lauer were reporting about the first plane and, at that point, it was assumed that it was a tragic accident. Suddenly, they reported that a second plane hit the towers and posted live footage of the WTC. They had video of the second plane striking. I still have that image in my head.

    I was stunned and just could not comprehend what I saw. Neither could the news reporters at first. When a terrorist attack was confirmed and news of the other planes was aired – I cried. I immediately felt the need to do something – so I went to the local hardware store and bought an American flag for my car.

    I have been to Manhattan many times. I have a great shot of the WTC from Ellis Island, which was taken just months before 9/11. After the attacks I had it made into a 5×7 (but have not framed it yet). Now, when driving into NYC the first thing I notice is a huge part of the city’s landscape and identity is gone forever.

    The first time I saw Ground Zero in person was powerful and it gave me chills. I looked up at all the surrounding buildings and kept looking up. It’s hard to believe the towers are no longer there. Physically standing at the site is overwhelming.

  2. Laura Says:

    I was getting ready for school (California time), and I had just gotten out of the shower. I went into my mom’s room to watch the footage of her. The first thing I thought of was my dad- at this point in his career he was still traveling a great deal. I called him, and luckily he wasn’t even in the air that day.

    Once I got to school, the teachers did the same for us, we didn’t watch the footage over and over, we moved on to our lessons. I feel a similar level of emotional divorcement, although somewhere inside me is a deep-seated anger at what drove those individuals to kill so many innocent people.

    Lots of love,
    Laura

  3. bfasy Says:

    Thanks, Mom & Laura for sharing your stories!

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