It’s 9/11 in case you didn’t know. Still a sad say, but as with time passing the sadness diminishes for some people and for others it’s compounded.
I will never forget what happened that day and I really don’t think anyone who was aware of what was going on that day will ever forget either. I wonder if there are a lot of forgetful people out there that need to be reminded.
For me, it was a beautiful day, with a deep blue sky. It was the day before my birthday so of course I was rather happy about that.
I was working for a staffing agency called Staff Mark on 40th Street in Manhattan on the 20th Floor. From the office you could see the Empire State Building and beyond that, the World Trade Center.
I was manning the front desk when the FedEx guy came by saying that he had heard of a plane hitting one of the twin towers. I was surprised and didn’t really believe him anyway.
If it was a plane I thought it was a small plane, a Cessna, a Piper Cub. I turned the corner and looked downtown where I saw smoke rising and a big chunk missing. Went back to my desk thinking ‘how fucked up is that?’
A few minutes after that, I hear screams from the office with the downtown view. The second plane hit the south tower. Everything went numb after that. I guess I was in shock.
A co-worker had his brother working in the World Trade Center. He was never seen again. Neither were a lot of people. People that had gone to work on that sunny day, perhaps ignoring the emergency intercoms advising people to stay where they were and trying to get out were murdered.
So much misinformation was around that day. Reports that planes were attacking the White House, the Washington Mall between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial was under attack. There was no clear information and the people on TV with the news knew just as much as the guy on the street.
Though the internet was around, it wasn’t as much as it is today. Watching footage on YouTube, you see people on the street where it happened fleeing the toxic cloud of chemicals, office materials and flesh and blood.
Today I watched an hour long video about one of the people who jumped from one of the towers. Hard to watch and I thought about those people who jumped from the towers that day.
What was going through their minds? Was it the survival instinct, to get away from the heat and the smoke and the only way out was through the window? Were they thinking clearly? Was it just instinct or was it desperation?
Staff Mark had a grief counselor come in and I asked him those questions, not that he would know the answers, nor would anyone else.
The footage of the second plane hitting the South Tower is chilling. Sinister looking. I think of those people on the planes and the people that were left behind. 8 years later it still is a terrible day, and terrible is not that strong an adjective to describe that day in September.