Monday, September 10, 2012

9/11 Revisited

Edited excerpts from various articles I’ve written on my experience at Ground Zero.

To this day I cannot explain what made me go to New York. It’s just that despite the images I saw over and over on the television screen I still could not believe it. Really. I had to see for myself.

September 13, 2001 - I just came back from the other side  “Ground Zero” they ‘re calling it. The scenes there are unforgettable, unimaginable, and incomprehensible. I will never forget the sight of fire and smoke rising from the hole in the sky where the World Trade Center once stood.

The streets were littered inches thick with dirt, dust, soot, glass, metal, ashes and burned paper everywhere. I’m aware that mixed in the debris are body parts. The twisted wreckage of cars, trucks and vans all cemented, seared into the streets, on the sidewalks and against the sides of buildings. The fire trucks, police cars and emergency vehicles stood frozen in time completely mangled and upsided. I was totally unprepared to view the devastation. People on the street openly weeping, it was too much to process.

Lost/missing pictures of loved ones on bus stops, trees, the sides of passing trucks and store front windows. The yellow ribbons, the candles, the makeshift shrines. Red, white and blue on everything worn by everyone. The sight of the men, and women buses and trucks as they enter and exit the  scene of the crime. The faces of these heroes exhausted and drained. Being in a crowd of 10,000+ people who are silent or whispering or weeping, all staring in disbelief.       

Ground Zero Remains         

Hundreds of cars, trucks, vans and military vehicles filled with volunteers from all over the country also included (surprisingly) “inmate work crews.”

The events of September 11, 2001 gave us a new sense of our place in the world. Goliath fell that day, it’s still a hard pill for us to swallow.

Yet tonight as I sit here at my computer looking over at what can best be described as my memorial from that day, a foot high glass bottle filled with ashes burned financial papers, twisted blinds taken from the crime scene I’m sure of one thing. The events of 9/11 are the direct result of hatred. Hate can have no place in our lives.