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9/11 Never Forget

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ibonnie posted 9/9/2019 13:06 PM

I apologize in advance if my post offends anyone.

I just noticed the bandaged heart with the Twin Towers and "Never Forget," written next to it on the upper left of the SI website.

I hate 9/11. I wasn't directly affected, meaning I didn't lose anyone in the attack, but I have friends that did. I guess I was directly affected in that I was a teenager in NYC that day, and I saw the smoke in the sky, saw the burning papers floating to the ground (yes, even all the way to Brooklyn), and got home to find my parent's bedroom covered in soot because they had left the window open (screen up though) for our cats.

I remember my mom picking me up from school during third period, and then my brother and my friend and her brother, before dropping us off at my friend's house because my mom had to go back to work. I remember how panicked my best friend's mom was, because her sister went to school in Manhattan and no one could get in touch with her (she was fine, but phone service was either down or too many people were trying to call at once? I can't remember.)

I'm crying writing this.

I remember the palpable panic because no one knew what was going on, who was hurt, who was attacking us, and where they were going to strike next. No one knew if their family that were first responders or that worked in the Twin Towers were okay.

I just remember all the fear and sadness.

So no, I will never ever ever be able to forget 9/11, but every year I do not want to be reminded. I don't want to see #neverforget or see friends on facebook that don't live in NY, never lived in NY, weren't connected to it in any way, change their profile pictures to pictures of the Twin Towers. I don't want to hear people that were not living here, that didn't see the smoke in the sky, that didn't see burning papers float to the ground, that couldn't feel the fear in the air, talk about how they watched it on TV from their homes a thousand miles away.

I feel like saying this stuff outloud makes me sound like a horrible person or unpatriotic or IDK, but in reality, I don't want to relive that day every year, I don't want to feel that ball of anxiety in the middle of my chest, and I don't want to start crying thinking about it all.

No, I will never forget, but I don't want to be reminded of it by people that didn't live through it every year, either.

[This message edited by ibonnie at 1:08 PM, September 9th (Monday)]

undertherug posted 9/9/2019 13:49 PM

I wasn't in NY and had no friends/family there but my son was stationed on an aircraft carrier at Norfolk, VA, and we were terrified. No one knew when the next strike would be and watching the news was heartbreaking. Some of my coworkers were proceeding with business as usual and I never understood why. I eventually had to leave early and just wait at home with the rest of the country. The memory of those twin towers burning will be etched in my memory forever.

Lalagirl posted 9/9/2019 13:51 PM

((((iBonnie))))

You have been heard. No offense taken at all.

I do not live in NY, but do live very close to Washington, DC. I was at work when the news broke. We were excused from work. My DD's were in 11th & 7th grade and were sent home from school. DH came home as well. We spent the afternoon watching it all happen in horrid succession on television. We were fortunate that we were able to sit together as a family, even if we were scared, confused, and so heartbroken.

I do not like to remember it either, so I cannot imagine the pain that you you must feel given that you were so close to it physically and emotionally.

Hugs, sweetie.

Lala

survivingslowly posted 9/9/2019 15:49 PM

I'm sure it must have been extremely traumatic to have lived through it or in the vicinity. Just horrible.

I think the entire world will remember 9/11, no matter where you were. It was horrific.

I remember exactly where I was and remember seeing the second plane hit the towers live on t.v. and I'm Canadian (thank goodness, no offense). I will never forget, can't ever "unsee" those images.

I was 5 monthes pregnant with our second dd.

My third dd was due on Sept. 12 and I desperately did not want her to arrive on Sept. 11. Thankfully she didn't....in fact she just turned 16 today! Just scraped by!

I recognize that being in the area on that terrible day brings back horrible memories. The entire world will have their own stories of where they were during this terrible time. Also traumatic for everyone.

It's just such a sad day for the entire world, no matter where you come from.

I, personally, appreciate the logo of the twin towers on the heart bandage. It's part of history, even if it's not pretty, and actually ugly.

My, now, 16 year old is going for her licence on Wed. And she doesn't want to do it because of 9/11.....thinks it's a bad omen.....and like I said, we're Canadian......so it has impacted those far and wide.

9/11 has become a day that no one will ever forget, no matter how far away you live. It's sad, but it is a reality.

PricklePatch posted 9/9/2019 16:03 PM

It was very sad and frightening. With my husband home I sent him to the store for dried milk and water. My neighbor had quads and we had a 18 month old. We could see the smoke from our house and the military airplanes flying over. Our neighborhood of 60 people lost 5 people. We were going to be in a wedding in Oct., 1 groomsman died, the BIL of the bride barely made it out. The BIL has PTSD.

I was frightened that this was going to be more wide spread. I will never forget seeing the emergency response coming from the whole country. Our house was fine during Hurricane Sandy. We let our neighbors move in. We had a vacation booked and seeing all the utilities workers gave me the same chills.

Marie2792 posted 9/9/2019 17:01 PM

I watched plane number 2 go into the tower. I had gotten off the bus by Macyís in Herald Square and I was walking down 6th Avenue to my office in 26th street. I saw a flickering of orange in one of the towers windows and I thought how odd an office fire in the WTC would be. Then came the plane around the back through the other side and into the building. I was stunned. I walked but I was clearly not aiming for any steps. Cars stopped in the middle of the street, one of Manhattans busiest, and drivers got out to look back at what what they just caught in their rear view. Car radios and shops were loud, so that those of us walking could hear what was happening.

I got to my office and no one was in but the VP. He asked me to man the phones even though I had never done it before (I was in purchasing). Said they were extra busy. I told him s plane went into the WTC. He said ďon a clear day like today?Ē And then he knew. I knew. Half of our office team got stuck closer to home and couldnít get in. Those of us who did either went home with coworkers later that day who lived in the city or walked over the bridge (as I did).

The smoke and stench was horrendous. It lingered over Manhattan for months afterwards. Cell phones didnít work and I didnít know how I was getting home from Brooklyn that day once I got off the bridge. But my husband was there. In the midst of some good doers with vans stocked with bottled water to pass out to us when we came over, I saw our car.

We rode two of my coworkers home and brought the the fourth home with us because she lived in Staten Island. The seats in our car were wet because my husband came from his overnight shift and went directly to the car wash at 7 to shampoo them. He went and home and went to sleep. My motherinlaw came banging on the door that the world was ending and to find me and the kids. So he went to get the car, not dry yet, so he could find me. Our kids were at my moms who cared for them a few days a week while we worked.

The human decency and compassion that was shown in the next months by people in the city was something to see. Passengers on subways were gracious and polite. People went to vigils of missing and deceased, whether they knew them or not. We held fundraisers for families and extended our hands. It was a time we needed to come together. Military presence in our streets and subways was a new normal.

For me that day changed a lot. It shook my faith in religion, swore me off having any more kids in this crazy, uncertain world (we did have one more two years later) and it showed me an appreciation of firemen, policemen and our military. One of the firefighters who developed cancer from the 9-11 site was just laid to rest not far from where I live. He appeared before Congress with Jon Stewart fighting for his rights and those of his fellow firemen. He died a few days later.

I have a childhood friend who worked on the 90th floor. She was home recovering with a two day old baby who was born three weeks early. She could have perished in that collapse being heavily pregnant. That baby just started college last week. Those of you mourning for your loved ones, I will be eternally sorry for your losses.

If you are ever in NYC, you should visit the memorial. It truly is a somber and reflective site. Never forget what they took from us. Remember how it has changed us forever.

[This message edited by Marie2792 at 5:05 PM, September 9th (Monday)]

tushnurse posted 9/9/2019 17:32 PM

Marie thank you for your story.
I was no where near where any of this happened but it forever changed me.
I was working and remember looking up in the ICU and seeing the same image on all the TVs and knowing at that moment something awful was happening. Then the second plane hit. O had to work another 7 hours. All I wanted to do was get my babies and go home and love them.
The world of 9/12 was the real deal. People across this great nation came together in way that they never have.
9/11 is also my birthday. Talk about putting things into perspective.
May any of you that have been personally impacted by this tragic day find peace and strength.

minusone posted 9/9/2019 17:39 PM

Our lives were forever changed.

I worked in Nassau County ( a suburb of NYC), my daughter just relocated to NY and her husband flew to Colorado on 9/10. My son was living in Brooklyn, but working in Lower Manhattan. I had my brother, some cousins and lots of friends working in NYC. The terror of not knowing if they were dead or alive ......hours went by and finally everyone checked in. We were blessed.

Every year there is a memorial ceremony broadcasted on local tv stations. Relatives of some of the fallen name all who perished. It takes hours. Itís heartbreaking. Every year I tell myself not to watch but we should never forgot....how could we?

In the months after that horrible day, taking subways, going over bridges and seeing law enforcement and soldiers carrying guns standing guard was a nightmare I will never forget.

Marie2792 posted 9/9/2019 17:58 PM

Minus one, that must have been awful for you. The televised memorial is something I put on every year and just listen. I didnít lose anyone directly in the attacks but a woman I rode the express bus into the city with had an appointment that day and she never made it home. Another fellow passenger lost her husband and there is a public school named after him. The street I was living on at the time was renamed after a woman who lived in it. I didnít know her.

minusone posted 9/9/2019 18:48 PM

Marie.....watching the memorial is a walk into the nightmare of that day....thinking of the people who just were going to work, who got on airplanes and the horror that they experienced.....

Both of us were very lucky but the scars are there for all New Yorkers and the courage that was displayed each and every day after by the first responders and all New Yorkers was mind blowing.

Marie2792 posted 9/9/2019 19:44 PM

Minusone, the one thing that saved my sanity that day is my children were with my mother. My son was 3 and not yet in school and my daughter was almost 7 but she had woken up with a fever and I kept her home from school even though it was he beginning of the year. My husband was home sleeping or so I thought.

Our office then was a duplex apartment converted into an office suite by my then boss. It was in a residential building far enough away from the other major landmarks in NYC in case of another strike.

The Daily News also prints all the names of the victims. Itís bonechilling to turn the pages.

BraveSirRobin posted 9/9/2019 20:20 PM

I'm a little worried that I'm participating in turning this thread into exactly what ibonnie feared, which is one long trigger, but I think it's valid to point out that this was a national trauma that changed America's understanding of our vulnerability in the world. This was true far outside the boundaries of New York City.

I was living outside Philadelphia at the time. We had a group of German exchange students visiting, and we sent them off with our own high schoolers for a field trip to NYC. The first stop on their itinerary was the WTC. They made it as far as the ferry landing in New Jersey and saw the smoke. No one could get cell service, so the frantic German parents were watching the news with no idea whether their kids were in the building. It was afternoon before one family managed to get through and find out that the whole group was safe.

I was working in New Jersey. I left work when they closed all the bridges into New York, because I feared after the Shansksville crash that they would close the Pennsylvania bridges, too, and I'd have no way to get home. We picked my nephew up from school and faced his confused and frightened questions, and he was just as scared as if the planes had hit Liberty Place in Philadelphia instead of buildings a hundred miles away.

My dad's boss dropped dead of a heart attack on 9/12. His funeral was delayed because his children had to drive from California to Boston. Commercial flights were banned, and Boston was still mourning the local passengers on the hijacked flight that originated at Logan Airport.

Several days later, I was at my nephew's peewee football game. Commercial flights had just been reopened, and a plane went across the sky above us. Our community was near an active naval air station, so we were used to not just commercial jets, but fighter jets on a regular basis. But in the aftermath of 9/11, everyone on that field just stopped and watched that plane fly across the sky, in silence. Kids, parents, team, coaches, everyone, without a single word of arrangement between us. When the plane was gone, the coin toss resumed. It was like a hive mind, and it was stark and frightening to realize how much everything, EVERYTHING had changed.

I get that it's frustrating to see people claiming a connection to tragedy that you don't feel they deserve. I saw it recently with the Notre Dame fire, where everyone who ever took a photo there suddenly acted like they were French citizens. But I think 9/11 was different. I'm not claiming to have faced trauma like people at Ground Zero, but it really was something that altered all of us forever. I think of it every year, whether I see posts on social media or not.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 1:05 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)]

Marie2792 posted 9/10/2019 10:12 AM

BraveSirRobin...we were all affected by this day. You donít have to be a New Yorker. So nerve wracking for you and the parents of your students. Iím glad they didnít make it into the city.

Sending hugs to everyone tomorrow as they remember, mourn or reflect.

Phoenix1 posted 9/10/2019 10:50 AM

I was at a conference in Philadelphia. Watched the planes hit on the news as I was getting ready to leave hotel and walk to convention center. It turned to chaos. There was fear there was a target there. Highly armed cops on every corner. All businesses closed. Was like a ghost town, except for the law enforcement.

I tried to get out to go home. Couldn't. Airport shut down. No rental cars available and Greyhound buses were booked. Everyone was trying to get out, but I was trapped. I remember just wanting to get home, and telling Xhole just that.

Xhole (law enforcement) actually came to my rescue. As soon as he was able, he drove ten hours to come get me and a co-worker. He got there at 1 a.m. Said the highway was eerily quiet except for the first responder convoys heading to NYC.

As soon as he got there, we jumped in the car and drove right back home. I was never so happy to be home.

On the one year anniversary we went with a contingent of regional law enforcement officers that played in the pipes and drums to the memorial police and fire tattoo in NYC. One of the most touching events I've ever attended. The NYPD escorted us to Ground Zero where we got to see "behind the scenes" activity, along with the makeshift memorial at the time. That memorial is embedded in my memory.

I will say the NYPD bus drivers drive like maniacs!

I will never forget.

Incarnate posted 9/10/2019 11:03 AM

I have a somewhat different association with 9/11. It was the day I had the first conversation I'd ever have with my STBEW. I had seen her the night before, but I hadn't been allowed to speak to her (religious cult families). We watched the second plane hit on the TV live on whatever show Matt Lauer was on, and we were all stunned. The adults started talking madly, and my STBEW and I (I was 16, she was 18) were able to have a conversation about it. It's how we were able to discover that we were both into writing and gaming, etc, etc.

Now, I wonder what would have happened if that TV hadn't been on. September 11th is a time for reflection for me, both on how it changed the entire world, how it affected the people in my life who were there (I know a few people who were in NYC, one of whom was driving past the towers when they were hit), and how it irrevocable changed America for the worse.

I am sorry for the pain it brings you every year. I hope that you can find some peace.

Pippin posted 9/10/2019 11:51 AM

I think the only time in my life I ever yelled at my husband was on 9/11. After the second plane hit I called him to tell him to get out and he responded that they werenít evacuating. Iím not normally a yeller but I was 9 months pregnant with our first baby and I wanted him out. (The baby is about to turn 18!). It was incredibly quiet waiting outside on the street for him. No cars, no subways, no buses. Occasional sirens going downtown but after an hour none of those either. (edit to be clear: he was not working at WTC but at a different skyscraper and I assumed at that point they were all targets)

ibonnie, I remember the smoke too. Every time the wind turned your experience of the world would turn. For a little bit the air was fresh and life seemed normal, then youíd get the stench.

My hospital was downtown and they let me through the barricade to see my midwife. The hospital was empty. They had emptied it out, waiting for survivors who never came. I donít know why my midwife was seeing patients there and not somewhere else. I still have nightmares about walking along empty corridors.

Iíll never forget all of those missing posters plastered everywhere Ė bus stops, empty storefronts, even storefronts would let people put up their photocopied signs. After a day you knew everyone on those signs was dead.

The worst 9/11 memory I have though was four years later. I was doing kindergarten admissions and I had two 9/11 widows in the class with kids to place in private schools. One child had never met his father and the other was five months old when her father died. One kid was a little behaviorally tricky but the other one was solid. Of all the schools they applied to, including religious schools, only one kid got one offer. The admissions people were unusually tightlipped about why Ė they typically share why they donít take kids if it isnít obvious, but they didnít say anything other than it was a tough year (it wasnít a tough year for other kids). I think that cold calculation about kids potentially being emotionally unstable and concern about tuition from a single income family shook my faith in humanity more than angry people flying planes into buildings. (Both kids are doing great now. I never told the mothers what I believed happened)

A good memory to end though. One of the women in my birth class worked at Cantor Fitzgerald. She was due in October and we were all worried to hear that her baby was premature and fragile, born in late August. That probably saved her life.

I don't think I've ever written about all that. It actually helped. ibonnie, I hope you figure something out that works for you.

[This message edited by Pippin at 12:12 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)]

Lalagirl posted 9/10/2019 12:24 PM

iBonnie, I know this isn't what you were looking for - sorry...but I do think it's really helping those who are sharing their stories.

God bless everyone everywhere (especially in NY, DC and Shanksville, PA) who were affected by this tragedy and hugs to all...

hopefull77 posted 9/11/2019 05:16 AM

I worked with a Doc who was on the plane that flew into the Pentagon. He was taking dialysis machines to his home country.
Also knew people who were on the plane that hit the first tower.
It's also my daughter's birthday as well as a few other people I know.
That day changed EVERYTHING.

Lalagirl posted 9/11/2019 06:24 AM

(((((hopefull77)))))

WornDown posted 9/11/2019 11:54 AM

I was living in Texas. My ex and I (from NJ and NY respectively) spent that day worried about family that were in NYC.

My brother in law had just started a new job in Manhattan the week before, and we didn't know where and the phones weren't working. (Turned out his office was in mid-town)

My mother in law was a senior nurse at Westchester Medical Center. They waited for the patients that never came. She thought that either there weren't that many dead/wounded, or they were ALL dead. Fortunately, it was the former (considering there were an est. 15,000 people in the buildings.)

My cousin lives/works in NYC. To this day he hasn't been to the Memorial, it's still too raw for him.

My godmother's husband (the cousin's step-dad) was in lower Manhattan. He was one of the "ghost" people. He got over to Hoboken and then the decontamination areas were evacuated due to a bomb rumor. He walked a while north until he could call his wife in northern Bergen County. I think he got home around 9pm, still covered in dust.

My brother didn't know what he was doing in life; he had a degree in physical therapy and had just worked three seasons as a ski patroller in VT. He had just moved back down to NJ (on west side, near PA) and got his EMT. That morning he was called in around 9. By 10am (it takes almost an hour on a good day to traverse NJ) he was on a boat to Ellis Island where they were taking the wounded. He said they had wounded until about noon - 1 pm; then it was just bodies. That day changed his life. He decided right then and there that he wanted to help people. He became an RN.


That day was definitely a national trauma felt by every American, more so for those of us who grew up, lived, worked or had family in and around NYC. That wound has healed, but the scars definitely remain.

If anyone ever visits NYC, I always tell them to go to the Memorial museum. Plan to spend 4-6h, and be prepared to be emotionally drained.

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