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Thread: 9/11/01 Memorial & Reflections

  1. #1
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    9/11/01 Memorial & Reflections

    First I hope all will take a moment of silence to reflect upon the lives lost on 9/11 at the Pentagon, the World Trade Centers, and on the flights used in these horriific attacks.

    I did not personally know anyone who died in the attacks, but friends of friends were killed. I live in NYC, but in upper Manhattan near the northern tip. But for me, no part of the city was untouched, and I mean all five boroughs as well as Long Island, where many of the fire fighters and police have/had their homes. The regions around New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut, and even Philadellphia were affected. Of course the downtown area was absolutely devastated. Everything from luxury to modest apartments were rendered unlivable within minutes. People's businesses were destroyed, everything from brokerage firms to delicatessens.

    It has been reported that approximately 10,000 children were left without one or both parents on 9/11.

    I have no words to describe my own feelings. What I can describe are the associations I feek with the WTC. BTW, I don't mean to give any less attention to the tragedy at the Pentagon. Lving in NYC, naturally the WTC is what I relate to most. I can say is that every time I'm in a position to see the New York skyline from a distance, the absence of the World Trade Center Towers looms larger in spirit then they were even in life. Those buildings, like all buildings, are filled with life. The life burned and crshed out of those buildings always reminds me that no matter what the structure or where, it's life that gives those buildings density. Without the people who work or live in such buildings, they are mostly air--from the air in the offices to the air between the molecules in the steel.

    Many people did not like the WTC when it was first completed in 1974. For many, the twin towers were just another shadown caster. For those of you who were not able to see the Ric Burns documentary on the WTC that was on PBS the other night, I'd like to recount the story of Philippe Petite, performance artist/tightrope walker. But in 1978, IIRC, Frenchman Phillipe Petite and his assistants used a bow and arrow to rig a tightrope that ran between the roofs of the twin towers, 1000 feet above the concrete below. That early morning, Petite walked and danced, literally danced, back and forth across the tightrope for 45 minutes. Petite says it was the most glorious and memorable time of his life. He said he could hear the cheers of the crowds below, which inspired him more. When the police came, Petite danced around for a while then lay down on his back on the tightrope. He said he saw a seagull flying far above him. Because of the adrenaline, his senses were so heightened that Petite says he could see the red eye of the bird. Petite got the feeling that the bird was looking at him, wondering what this guy was doing in his, the seagull's, space. Petite says that at this time, after having what he calls some kind of communication with the seagull, that all his instincts and intuition told him it was time to get down. Petite didn't want to; he says he could have stayed up there all day. But he felt as if the forces of nature had allowed him entrance into a place where men are not meant to go--high in the sky with nothing but a rope to support him--and that these forces were telling him it was time for things to go back to normal. Petite walked off the rope, to the police, and was charged with something like 30 misdeamenors, including performing without a license. But what Petite did was make the WTC towers a true part of New York. They were part of the family now.

    The story of Philippe Petite is a part of NYC folklore and I tell it only in that context. Those I think who are the real story of the tragedy of 9/11 are the firefighters; the police; those who worked at the WTC, from the window washers to the office workers; and their families. The same goes for those at the Pentagon and on the planes and their families, especially the incredible courage of those passengers on United Flight 11, if I'm correct, who gave their lives to attack the hijackers and prevent them from completing their mission, which we now know was to crash the plane into the White House. Instead they went after the hijackers witht tiny airline forks and knives and all the heart and courage in the world. The wrestled control of the plane away from the hijackers but in doing so also wrestled it into a crash in a Pennsylvania field. Some hundred feet further and they would have hit homes. Instead the plane hit the ground with such velocity that all that was left was a deep burnt scar on the green bucolic field.

    The day after the attacks, a friend I've known since college who had lived in NY called me from her new home in Illinois. She and her sister would be coming to NYC to help their cousin, who was having an especially hard time because he has post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of his time serving in Viet Nam. My friend, Martha, was both grieving and furious. "They're f**k*** with my city!" she said. My sentiments exactly.

    Please forgive what I'm sure are multiple typos and screwed up words. Water distorts the look of the type. My form of prayer to all involved directly or indirectly in every aspect of the 9/11 attack.
    Rgirl

  2. #2
    Figure Skating Is A Dangerous Sport Dee4707's Avatar
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    Thanks Rgirl for your reflections. I was also fortunate to see the 3 hour PBS special. I could not believe the footage that was used for that program. It made it seem as though you were right there with them. It was indeed a very special program.

    DEe

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    It's amazing how it's been 2 years and the rest of the country seems to have "gotten back to normal"... listening to Rush Limbaugh this morning he was saying how sad it was that our country had basically forgotten already about Sept. 11. While, he said, we should make this day as "normal" as possible we shouldn't FORGET about it entirely...

    Here in Alaska, all of the oil fields were shut down and were basically in a lockdown situation it was extremely nerve racking... especially since I was in a major oil community.


    I have classes today... but school is the furthest thing from my mind.

  4. #4
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    Rush Limbaugh is a fool.

    No none has forgotten 9/11, American or not. The whole world remembers and that horrendous day in NYC. Sometimes, I wonder, if the tables were turned, would the U.S. remember? I doubt it.

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    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    dfj, I agree.

    Nobody forgot 9/11. What would you like to see this country do? Remain in perpetual mourning?

    For my generation, 9/11 will be one of those defining moments forever. None of us will ever forget where we were that day. The main thing I felt was disbelief. Then grief. Then anger. In that order. And no, I will never forget.
    Last edited by Ptichka; 09-11-2003 at 03:15 PM.

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    Gliding Along dlkksk8fan's Avatar
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    My husband and I went on a wonderful trip to Hawaii last summer with a group of people. In that group was a nice couple, Donna & Kevin. Kevin had lost both parents in the plane that went down by Washington DC. on Sept 11th.They were flying to Los Angeles with the ashes of Kevin's grandfather to be buried on the island of Kauai. With the trip to Hawaii Kevin and his wife had come to finish what his parents had not been able to do.

    Toni-I think it is okey to "get back to normal". I don't think people forget they just want to go forward with their lives.

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    Rush L is a TOTAL fool. No one has forgotten, I sure haven't, but what is served by endless TV specials, each trying to gain ratings off of the terrible tragedy? We haven't forgotten, but moving on is healthy.

    I'm thinking of the futility and hopelessness that violence brings, its violation of humanity, anywhere in the world and of, hopefully a higher power that can bring peace into the world.
    Last edited by StillBlueLake; 09-11-2003 at 12:48 PM.

  8. #8
    GOLDEN DREAMS RealtorGal's Avatar
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    I didn't know anyone lost on that tragic day, but hearing the names this morning on television of those killed made me cry more than I did two years ago. I've been weepy all day.

    Unfortunately, the lunatics who perpetrated the crime are still alive and free, planning who knows what on more innocent victims.

  9. #9
    Michelle Kwan Fan
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    As We Remember ... 9/11

    As we remember those lost lives,
    And those affected like the wives,
    We have a solemn Remembrance Day
    That in our hearts is here to stay.

    God Bless America fore'er
    We shall become one together.
    This we never will forget
    The day that made us all upset.

    One minute we all but forgot
    That terrorists made an evil plot.
    The next one people were so mad
    That folks would plan a thing so bad.

    God, though, had planned it for us all
    That we shall all rise and not fall.
    He made us want to be so strong
    That we shall sing a happy song.

    Amen.

    We can hope that such a tragedy does not happen again for anyone. :(

  10. #10
    Skater Girl
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    I can't believe it's been two years. I remember my mother, who was raised in her teen years in New York, running in and telling me at six in the morning what happened. A few days earlier we were talking about going and Mom really wanted me to see the Towers and go eat at the restaurant there. I pray for all those who lost their lives, including some good friends of mine; I have family members in NYC who saw it.

    I can't believe that people here in CA, including my academic decathalon teacher and various students at my school, said they were detached from it. I don't understand it. How can you be detached from something that affected everyone in our country? When you think about all who were lost, and especially the brave souls who lost their lives trying to get the plane away from it's course, the NYPD and NY fire department, I just cannot comprehend how any American can't "be affected" by the tragedy. My stepmother's co-worker's brother was a in the NY fire department. There is a last photo of him, walking back into the rubble to save people...he wasn't seen again.

    I agree Limbaugh is a moron...no one will forget. Yes, we must move on, but we will never forget.

    God bless America!

  11. #11
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    9/11/01 Memorial & Reflections

    How about "God bless the world." The rest of us are effected as well.

  12. #12
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    I don't believe it was two years ago either and yet it seems like a lifetime ago as well. It's stuck in time for me. I live in CA and was in college at the time, but it didn't impact me less because I was far away and didn't know anyone who was killed. I cried so much that semester, because I had all the classes on foreign affairs (I was an International Relations major) and it just seemed so hopeless. I could see the problems and complaints of people in the Middle East and yet, it they can't use them as justification to take innocent lives. I've had to continue to fight that feeling of hopelessness, because I've always wanted to go and work in Washington at the State Department and/or New York at the U.N., but I was so afraid and I'm just getting over that. That's where all the decisions and work on foreign policy is and that's where I want to be just do what I can...so today is important day to remember those who died and to know that because we live here in the U.S. we have the greatest capacity and freedom to understand and change the world around us. You definitely can't live in fear, that's no life at all and that's what the hijackers wanted.

    God bless those who died and their families and friends,

    Lucy

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    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    We had a brief, but meaningful memorial service on the playground this morning before the children were dismissed to their classess. All 800 children, ranging from first grade to sixth stood quietly and respectfully as the "Star Spangled Banner" was played.........42

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    Custom Title heyang's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reflections, Rgirl.

    Personally, I didn't know anyone who died that day. I know many people who did have friends and relatives die that tragic day. I have friends who were 'lucky' enough to arrive late to work that day.

    So, I shed a few tears as I listened to WPLJ play 'Oh Danny Boy ' just before this morning's 1st moment of silence followed by the 2nd National Anthem, God Bless the USA. More tears shed as I watched the news and heard the children read the names during this morning's ceremonies. Hearing that it took over 2 1/2 hours to read all the names just gives it more magnitude.

    During this 2nd anniversary, I'm also thinking of our soldiers in Afghanistan who have been forgotten due to Iraq and our troops in Iraq, too, who will be there for a long time.

    So many lives touched by terrorism, bad foreign policy, extremists.....and so many examples of love and heroism

  15. #15
    Custom Woman
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    Beautiful responses from everyone.
    Angie, that was a really lovely poem. Thanks for contributing it here.

    The way I see it, even if there are people who do forget 9/11, there are many, many more around to remind them.
    Rgirl

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