Sunday, September 11, 2011

I cannot believe it has been ten years.

No, the passing of time does not make the events of that day less horrible.

I will never forget that day.

I will never forget calling my friend and finding out his twin was missing. He was about to celebrate his one year wedding anniversary. My mind blanked. I forgot Nigel worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. He was in the first tower.

HERE is an article about Nigel and other UK victims.

I was working out next to a lit manager on a treadmill at a gym in Hollywood when the towers crumbled. I burst into tears. I couldn't believe my eyes. Later, at the office we were trying to reach our relatives, friends and co-workers in NYC. Our boss told us to go home. The company was based in Brooklyn.

I took the NJ PATH train into those towers everyday for years. My dad worked in the towers years ago when they were being built.

From the roof deck of an old apartment, I could see the towers.

Then when I moved to 22nd and 2nd in the city, the towers were a compass. You could never get lost (well, outside the confusing non-grid streets of the West Village) if you could see the towers. You always knew where Downtown was.

I was born in NYC. Many of my closest friends live there. I grew up in the suburbs of New Jersey. Most of the people in my town commuted to NYC. I think about all the children whose parents never came home. Their cars sitting at the stations.

I feel like everything changed in America after the attacks. Certain political leaders lied and we ended up in a war we had no business being in. Saddam had NOTHING to do with 9/11. Was he a dictator? Did he need to go? Yes, but we should have been focusing on Afghanistan, but they don't have oil.

President Bush received a briefing in late September that said there was no connection between Saddam and the terrorists. Yet, Cheney still went on news shows saying there was.

When GWB said during his infamous press conference that either people were with us or with the terrorists, it was a sad day for American diplomacy.

After the attacks, the world was with us. There were victims from over ninety countries on that day. He went ahead and attacked Iraq despite the concerns from many of our closest allies and the UN.

When some Republican congressmen decided to change the name of French Fries in the Congressional dining hall to "Freedom Fries", I was horrified. How immature. These were grown ass men. What was happening to my country?

Also, cutting taxes to the rich while engaged in two wars was stupid. Our country will be paying for the mistakes of the early/mid 00s for decades.

Post 9/11, things in America still seem very "unsettled" to me. I hate the direction my country is going in. The disparity between wealthy and poor is the greatest in the Western world. This is not good. Our infant mortality rates are unacceptable.

I have never seen such partisan politics before. The influence of the radical fundamentalists in the Republican party freaks me out. Where are the moderates? The Republicans I grew up with were not crazy.

That there are people running for President who do not believe in the separation of church and state is a problem. If I hear any of those fools talk about 9/11, I will scream. They hate NY and say the "cultural elite" are not real Americans. Then they have to gall to use that day to wave the American flag and talk about patriotism.

Did any of them lose a friend or family member that day? How dare they talk out of both sides of their mouth. I am dreading next year's election. It's going to be ugly.

Enough of this gloom and doom. True, NYC can be big pain in the butt. It's not an easy place to live. The pace, it's expensive, the surliness of some of its residents... it's a grind sometimes.

But I love NYC, even when I don't. Always have, always will.

The opening credits to Woody Allen's MANHATTAN. Those cowards who thought their actions would destroy my city were mistaken. I'm grateful to all the heroes who tried to rescue people, help people, and comfort people that day.


Gina said...

It seems like yesterday.

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

Beautifully written, especially this: "If I hear any of those fools talk about 9/11, I will scream. They hate NY and say the 'cultural elite' are not real Americans. Then they have to gall to use that day to wave the American flag and talk about patriotism." YES.

May your friend Nigel be resting in peace and may you, his other friends, and family find comfort in memories xx

Ciao Chow Linda said...

It's a day that is engrained forever in our minds. I am sorry for your friend Nigel and for all the other people who lost their lives that horrible day. I will never forget the feeling, seeing the first building on fire and the second one hit, while I was on the train approaching the city - and covering it as a reporter in the weeks that followed. I echo your sentiments on the politicians of this country and dread the next election cycle too.

gibber said...

Well said sis. This video just wrecked me for days after 9/11

Claudia said...

I was just thinking the other day that that day, it definitely changed the course here in the US...trying to be objective about it, it's almost as if the country feels lost and is trying find its way again. And that it affected most everyone in the world...if even by degrees of separation.

Paola said...

I have MANY relatives in NY and that day is engraved in my mind too. We were watching the TV @ my parents' and one of these relatives was due to go back to NY the next day. Next thing you know we saw the attacks live on the TV. I started crying, everyone froze on the table, we immediately rang all our family members and the one friend who worked at the bottom of the tower no.1. He had the instinct to run away as soon as he heard the first noise and so he saved his life and the life of his customers.
No, I'll NEVER forget.
May all the people who died that day rest in peace. I too, like you, always think of all the children left with no parents ...

Gil said...

Great tribute to your friend and all of the others that we all lost. It seems like it was just yesterday when I was driving to work and Warner Wolfe called Don Imus and reported the whole thing live on the "Imus In The Morning Show". When I called people they thought I was making it up.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

gina - it does.

Michelle - thank you.

ccl - You were on your way to the city? And then had to cover the events? I can't imagine.

gibber - oh man I remember that video. sad.

claudia - I agree. Things feel "off".

paola - I happened to catch some of the memorial yesterday on CNN. A little boy was born after 9/11 was so eloquent talking about how he wished he had met his dad. Tears.

gil - it did feel surreal. At times I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that over 3000 people died and the towers are gone.

J.Doe said...

I am sorry to hear about your friend Nigel. My old school friend who also workerd for Cntor Fitzgerald had 2 children age 3 and 5. To lose a mother at such young ages is a tragedy in itself. Do they even remember her? 9/11/2001 may be over but for some the pain will never end.

dorinalouise said...

(sigh). you said it all very well. i'm also worried about this next election, and the changes in my neighborhood leave many of us long time residents feeling a bit out in the cold. even our local music school is trying to be "bigger and better." it's the american way . . until when? most americans like things to be "new," but some of us like the pace to be a little slower, with more of an emphasis on the old and the wise.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

j. doe - I am so sorry to hear about your school friend. Her poor children. Can't imagine.

dl - I agree. bigger is not always better. I remember post 9/11 people said we would get back to basics. That didn't happen.