My thoughts, my views… 9/11/06


I’m sitting at my computer listening to relatives say the names of the deceased angels from 9/11 and the tears are rolling down my face. Am I emotional? Yes, very. That is what makes me the good person that I am. It is also a monkey on my back when it cannot be controlled. Being a native New Yorker this event is very personal to me, but I wasn’t at ground zero. I watched the entire event through my bedroom windows (I was living in Williamsburg Brooklyn at time time), like a picture through a frame.

I was preparing to go to an accounting client I had on Bleecker Street that morning, when I noticed on TV, it looked liked there was a fire on one of the floors of the Twin Towers. As I sat in a trancelike state and listened to what actually happened, I called my Mother who was living in Albany, NY at the time. We then stayed on the phone till both Towers fell. My glance out the window was of lots of smoke as the two icons grasped their last breath before succumbing to the fate of the worst evil that can exist.

I was numb the rest of the day, but stayed in the solitary warmth of my own apartment. The next day was the hardest. As I stepped onto the subway train still numb, I noticed others looked “normal”. No one was crying, no one looked like they were in a city where the most famous of buildings was attacked by terrorists, killing almost three thousand people. This was so strange to me. As I walked the streets of midtown, their was a strange air of silence, but looking around the city was still operating. Maybe this is what was supposed to happen. To show those evil people that they cannot, and will not take us down. But I wanted to scream out “Hey people! Don’t you realize what happened!” I didn’t. Instead I let the tears roll down my face and I cried for the people who perished.

I was on 7th Avenue by St. Vincent’s Hospital (which was quiet) in front of a tall chain link fence that had been used as a notice board for people who haven’t heard from their friends, relatives, loved ones who were in the Towers. Many pictures of people of all ages, shapes, colors, long hair, short hair, beards, smooth skin, glasses…they just looked like masses of you and me. A girl with long dark hair just lit a candle and placed it next to flowers on the street with a picture of a goodlooking young man. It was her brother, he was 22 years old and was so proud of his job as a maintenance worker at the Towers, she said. It was the first job he kept for over 6 months. He loved his job. My heart broke as far as it could. I hugged her & we both cried.

I used to work for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, in the South Tower. I worked out of their kitchen on the 44th floor, doing cater waitering. I was on an “on call” basis with them & I wasn’t scheduled to work that day. It had been a week since I’d been there last. Days after the attack I called my boss there and she was alright. She told me that after the first plane to the North Tower she, along with her assistant left the South Tower, against the announcements and direction of authorities. As they existed onto the plaza the second plane hit and they were showered with glass.

Now with all this behind us, we still live every day in reminder that the battlefield is not just “over there” it’s over here too. I try to be as decent a person to others as I can, and truthful to myself. Sometimes it’s hard for both. I don’t consider myself a prejudice person but sometimes society itself forces us to. For example: with the issue of racial profiling on individuals going through a turnstyle in the New York City subway system, or at the airport. My heart says all people are equal, treat them as such. But my mind says: well some muslims are a threat, BUT not all, and techniquely Americans can be a threat also… BUT not all… There’s always that BUT that keeps me in question.

It’s all a very fine line now between love and hate, peace and war. It’s so ironic to say that we fight in a war “by the rules”, and yet the terrorists do not. So how do we defend ourselves? Who do we point a finger at?

So on this somber day Monday September 11th, 2006 of rememberance, and sorrow the most I can do is to offer my hand to the next person & just hope that they do the same in return.

With love & warmth,
-Jeff

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