Friday, August 12, 2005

September 11th.

I've been listening to / watching the tapes from the September 11th attacks on our country. Just to revisit those days, weeks - even that month is truly heart breaking.

Although I'm a thousand miles away from the devastation - I remember the day so vividly. I came into work completely unaware. I went to the breakroom to put my lunch in the fridge. The room was filled with employees, both male and female - and all in tears. In my worst imagination I could not of come up with what had happened.

I walked in just in time to see the second plane slam into the second tower. Absolutely made my knees buckle. Shock, horror and a complete numbness washed over me. A sucker punch to the gut.

I am not sure what the coverage was in other countries but here in the states every channel was another angle of death & destruction. Every person on the scene was covered in grime and their eyes were filled with shock and hurt. Firefighters, Police Officers, Doctors and others were all driving, biking, walking and even rollerblading to get to the center of the devastation. To help. To hold a hand, to lead someone out of the wreckage - a shoulder to lean on. The lives saved by these folks alone has to be staggering.

As the hours went by more people showed up. These were the families of the ones still missing in the towers or the area. They had giant posters with pictures, they had tiny wallet photos and some were just yelling the names of the ones they were searching for. A desperate time and we sat helpless wondering what we could do.

What could we do? I know that in our area there were Firefighters standing on corners holding their big yellow boots asking for money for the Red Cross or similar organizations. If there was a Fireman on every corner - we stopped and gave. Everyone did. Traffic was backed up but it didnt matter. It was what we could do.

As the anniversary of this tragedy approaches I wonder if there is something right now I could do. In remembrance of those lost. This is where I think of you, my peeps. I've seen the generosity and compassion that comes from the online community. When knitters/crocheters - yarn people unite .... things happen.

Wondering if anyone has any ideas on something we could do this year (and the next and the next and...) to maybe offer support via the "yarn people's" community to help those truly affected - heal.

I welcome any ideas, thoughts or whatever you think.


At 3:34 AM, Blogger Christine said...

I know you don't know the geography of where we live, but during that time we lived a 2 minute walk from Long Island Sound. I woke up that morning and it was the most beautiful day on the east coast that I have ever seen. I, too, went to work as usual and everyone was packed into the conference room watching the I went over and checked it out. I saw the 2nd plane crash. Now mind you, a lot of the women in the office had husbands that worked very close to the WTC and even in it. So you could only imagine the dispair. The cell phone lines were overloaded and everyone was crying, even me and I was not a cryer. I called my husband and he happened to be working on a house on the water in Rowayton, CT. He didn't believe what I was saying and then he saw the smoke. It was really hard. My best friends parents were visiting in NYC at the time, so we were freaked by that. Just terrible. At any rate, I can ask the people that I know have been directly affected and see what they think, deal?

At 6:50 AM, Blogger Kathy said...

Rox - I listened to several of the tapes last night, too.

My experience on that day was very surreal. I was actually on a plane when the attacks happened: flying to Michigan to celebrate my mother's birthday. By the time I landed in Chicago, the towers had already fallen. My flight to Michigan was canceled, but luckily my brother (who was supposed to fly on to Michigan with me) lived in the area and we went back to his home and watched the news for most of the day before driving 8 hours to our parents' house.

The memory of that day that stands out for me is one I didn't understand at the time: when I walked off my plane, my brother was on his cell phone. He grabbed my arm, said "I've got her.", hung up the phone and started pulling me through the airport.

Turns out, the news station my parents were watching reported that planes were being hijacked all over the country. For an hour or so, they were scared to death that I was on one of those planes.

September 11th gave me a huge dose of perspective. While I was turning up my nose at the in flight breakfast on my flight, hundreds of others were being flown to their deaths. It sounds cliche, but 9/11 changed the way I view the world. It gave me perspective and 'chilled me out', so to speak.

At 8:02 AM, Blogger bethanie said...

September 11th is my birthday. Needless to say, all our plans that year were put on hold. But then after much discussion with friends and family - we all decided that I will always celebrate like always. I will NOT let those evil people take away my day

At 3:17 PM, Anonymous Amy said...

I won't ever forget that day either. I haven't yet listened to the tapes, but eventually I will. What I remember is watching CNN to the point of hysteria, then trying to find something else, just to take a break. I remember VH1 had gone to full coverage; many of the other basic cable stations, like the food channel and HGTV, stopped broadcasting. Only Cartoon Network kept its regular scheduling, which struck me as ludicrous at first, then it made sense--kids still needed cartoons. Especially kids too young to really understand what was going on.

At 8:14 AM, Blogger LisaB said...

I remember that day so clearly. I had just woken up to get ready for work and I always turn on the news to get my weather report. When I saw it, I couldn't comprehend if it was real (I was still in the groggy haze). It woke me up pretty quickly. Being in Oregon, so far away from it, I still called my fiance and father that morning. It was crazy.

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Sedie said...

September 11, 2001 was one of the most beautiful Fall days I can remember in NYC. I lived on 11th St. (bet 3 & 4th for those who know the area) and worked downtown, past the towers, on Broad St.

If you know me, you know that I don't get sick. I have had one cold in the past three years and that was because of the extreme changes my body went through from CA to FL. On that day I woke up feeling very sick to my stomach. However, I decided to go ahead and get ready for work thinking it would pass. I finally had to call in sick and get back to bed. About an hour later the phone rang, it was a friend looking for my roommate. I was the only one home. She said to turn on the television because a plane had run into the WTC. I did as she instructed. My stomach was fine. I never felt another pang of pain after that morning. I became the only source of info. for my sister who worked uptown, until she left work and walked 50 blocks home, and my mom who called from Massachusetts to make sure we were fine.

Had I left for work that morning, I would have been coming out of the subway about the time the first plane hit and been caught in the hubub of it all.

Surreal doesn't begin to describe the day and it's events. Especially for those of us living below 14th street. I am a New Yorker, born and raised. I can't describe the pain I felt for my city and the people in it. I can tell you that for the first year afterward many of us mourned unconciously. When the first anniversary of the attacks was near, many of us couldn't understand why we couldn't grasp an equilibrium. When the day passed we all realized we'd been mourning. In my mind the towers are still there, the reality, and I've been to ground zero, is so hard to process. I do believe we can do something, but the directive must come from those who lost someone or escaped and can tell us how best to help.

Thank you for your thoughts of doing something. Sometimes, that's all it takes for a great movement!


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