They say everyone has a story for 9/11, I mean I guess I have some, but I rather give it to you this way, in a multitude of reflections, only because there was so much…..
I remember the day like it was yesterday, but since I wasn’t far from the site of the attacks, that sort of makes sense. If you happened to be around Rector street, which is where I was (just taking a stroll to be honest. I was going to visit my old job) you got the full impact of everything. Now I wasn’t there when the planes crashed initially. I actually came after the fact, just to see the damage. It was my friend at my old job that called me frantically, telling me that there were bits of body parts in the street. He took pictures of the charred remains…they just looked like meat. Now, Rector street is on the corner of the world trade center and Battery park city (a complex of high-priced apartments) are across the street. The remains of passengers reached Rector street AND battery park city. YEARS later when I was working on an underground cable at Battery Park City, we had to stop work because of human remains.
My friend, the one who called me, I remember him telling me that ANOTHER plane crashed and he asked me what he should do, because he was alone in the store that day. I told him to “get the fuck out of there. One plane is a terrible mistake, 2 planes are an attack” I said exactly that. As for WHY I said it…I just thought about Pearl Harbor, and how it just seemed eerily similar…but I didn’t know about the passengers on the plane.
And THAT separated it from Pearl Harbor right there….
I think about the people jumping to their deaths, and those who tried to climb down the walls of the world trade center, I think of how months before that day, I used to wonder if a man could climb those walls. I only thought about this because there’s this French dude who climbs the tallest buildings he can and he does it free hand, not ropes.
Usually he is arrested the moment he reaches the top 🙂 but I wondered one day if he could climb those walls, because you just had no hand-holds on that building…
I think about how many people were in that building…before that day, me and the boys would hang around the world trade at lunch time, have some food and watch the fine ass ladies come out that building by the TONS 🙂 I remember telling the guys how I couldn’t afford to date those chicks making the 12 bux and hour I was making at my old job. I also thought how I couldn’t even afford the expensive restaurant inside the world trade..i think it was called “windows of the world”… not sure though..
I remember the first attempt to bomb the building, it was a UPS truck with a bomb, but it couldn’t do the job and I REMEMBER telling somebody that there would be another attempt, because unless you catch the people responsible, they will try again. Simply because a determined man does not know how to swallow failure…
Imagine, a human being, exploding in front of you…That’s what some people witnessed. These people were falling from two of the tallest buildings in the world. I think to myself….what does that even sound like? How in the FUCK do you see that and DEAL? I guess I would have to ask someone from Vietnam…I mean that’s the only person I can think of who could relate..
I remember days after the attack..maybe 2 days later, when the dust…ah man…that crazy dust was in the air..making EVERYTHING just so eerily peaceful. I mean if you knew about the area like I did, it was ALWAYS live. Busy, busy , busy…between the world trade center and Wall street, it was like another Times Square at lunch time.
But not after the attack. I wanted to see the damage for myself, so that day, I braved the chemicals that I knew were in the air, and I walked over to ground zero. You could only get so close, unless you knew somebody. Turns out the military security policeman was someone I knew from my stint in Japan 🙂 and wouldn’t you know it, I got past the cordon and saw the crater.
It was an AWESOME and POWERFUL crater to see. I mean fuck the cleaned up hole you see now, that aint SHIT. That’s just a clean toilet. You had to see the crater to appreciate how awesome those two buildings were….The crater looked like some sort of creature made it…or it was the hole to hell itself..It was the only time during the entire 9/11 occurrence when I exclaimed “my god”..There is not a single camera phone, or camera or video that can show you the immensity and power of that crater. You had to have been there to see it.
I think about the lies….There are many, especially if you want to come up with conspiracy theories. But I like to dwell on the real. And the lie on the top of my list was the government telling people that the air was SAFE. You would have to have been an IDIOT to believe that. I mean if you know ANYTHING about basic building materials, then you would know that any of that stuff is dangerous if it gets in your lungs. But here we were talking about pulverized glass, crystallized fiber glass, carcinogenic smoke MIXED with other known carcinogens, I mean there was still parts of a PLANE in there, the jet fuel alone was dangerous…like I said, you’d have to be an idiot to believe that the air was safe.
BUT you’d have to be a fucking piece of SHIT to LIE about the air being safe. You would have to be a spineless, worthless, PIECE OF SHIT to declare the air was safe KNOWING that it wasnt. And years later, I think of how many more people of the general populace would have had life changing respiratory problems if it wasn’t for the fact that fear kept them away from ground zero. years later the Zadroga act was passed, giving limited health benefits to 9/11 responders, but its too little too late for those who have passed away. bureaucracy before human compassion.
The heroes of 9/11 are simply every fireman and cop who risked their lives..But if there are ANGELS, then they are those who were at ground zero, selflessly lending a hand, helping to gather the remains of those who were killed…even though MOST of them knew that they were going to die. Those people, and they were diverse…those were just ANGELS to me. just God’s best and brightest. And no, I wouldn’t have done it unless I was guaranteed safety. but im no angel 🙂
I remember the sudden patriotism of the country and I observed in my lifetime how nothing galvanized a society like a war…its almost like fucking up an anthill. NOW the ants are pissed and they want to sting you, they don’t even give a fuck about dying..they just want to sting you for fucking up their anthill 🙂 The patriotism turned into anger at one point, Muslims were being attacked here.
I remember hours later after 9/11 , I went to the small store where I got my breakfast from. The owners were from Yemen and Islamic, I came to the store with four very angry guys and he was TERRIFIED. He looked as though we were going to rip him apart. I mean seriously, he looked just like that. His eyes were open and glazed, as if he was begging us not to kill him. I told him, that its going to be alright, stay calm, the guys here wont do anything to you. He just gave me a very nervous “okay” You have to understand, in HIS country, if the roles were reverse and HE was American, they would have torched his store….and tore him apart. In retrospect, I should have INSISTED on a free sandwich and candy bar. I always thought the candy bars were priced too high..but im not a bully 🙂
My Brooklyn people will remember this…Earlier I spoke about Battery Park city. Well they were always a bunch of arrogant folks who wouldn’t associate with common folk like me…until 9/11. The general feeling was that these attacks could happen again, now that the terrorist see how sensitive a target Manhattan is…Well, the snobs of battery park and most Manhattanites felt that the black people of Brooklyn weren’t so scary anymore and THAT my friends, is when Brooklyn/bed stuy got the sudden influx of white people. BEFORE 9/11, Brooklyn was off-limits to most Manhattanites and well to do folk. I mean, Brooklyn was just not cool, it was dangerous, it was ghetto (unless of course it was the Brooklyn height area) besides, Brooklyn had no night life. our clubs were black and Latino, not white. so Manhattanites had no reason to come to Brooklyn even to party. AFTER 9/11, the exorbitant rents of Manhattan…1800 for a one bedroom apartment…came right to Brooklyn. Many whites were priced in and many blacks were priced out. The greedy landlords were doing everything they could to price out elderly people, section 8 people or anyone else that wouldn’t be willing to pay this new rent. Fast forward to NOW, and the fight is still going on. The landlords are on the side of inevitability, they raise their rents every year, one way or another they will get their money and eventually, if your apartment is not rent stabilized (a trend that is near DEATH) you will run into rent you can no longer afford. However, Manhattanites with well-paying jobs have never had a problem paying 1800 dollars a month for rent, as far as their concerned it’s a bargain. The bargain used to be the fact that you’re already in the city and the commute is convenient, now the bargain is there is less chance of a bomb in Brooklyn. ANY price to feel safe. I’ve been a Brooklynite all my life and I gotta tell you…the people on the G-train look a hell of a lot different nowadays. But in the end, where do you go if you’re priced out of your apartment?I left Brooklyn for that reason, if my rent is this high, I might as well pay a mortgage.. Which is why I own a house……
Over 4000 people died, but in reality, America has killed many people with bombs too. There are Indians who were killed establishing the country, slaves who died building this country….slaves who are still buried not far at all from ground zero..do your reading.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Burial_Ground_National_Monument
I say this to point out that America is not a country of saints and we have a history as bloody as any other country. We forget that this world we live on IS spherical is shape and what we do on its surface WILL come back to us in the eventual. History does not repeat itself in actuality.. But it does have a tendency to rhyme.
Pearl harbor before that..
After both of those … who is to say? But in order to avert something terrible, one has to try to find the source and hopefully fix it. it’s a job too big for one man. So unless we all miraculously come together as a nation and change our ways and show the world that America is changing for the better, then we will always be our worst enemy. Together, as humans and as a nation, we can endure most anything and rebuild. Together we could communicate with one another and be the eyes and ears that the police cannot possibly be. Together, we could communicate with the true followers of Islam to avert problems with the more radical followers of Islam. Together, that’s just the tip of the iceberg..
Divided? Well we live that everyday. and so we are unknown to each other and FEAR surrounds us.
I’ve said my piece.