That Horrible Day In September – A Lesson In Solidarity

Everywhere I look I seem to be reminded of Sept 11th; World Trade Center Tower 1 will soon be the tallest building in Manhattan again; its one year after the tracking down and killing of Osama bin Laden; their are threats of some kind of anniversary attack – al Qaeda likes anniversaries.  Also, newspaper headlines seem to change day to day about al Qaeda being decimated and unable to attack us; to al Qaeda still a threat.  Plus I am going on an International flight tomorrow, and they are still interested in aircrafts.  I think 9/11 affected the entire country but I think different people were affected differently. The closer you were to the actual Twin Towers the more affected you were.  I am not talking about the people who died or had loved ones that died I am talking about the rest of us who are left behind to deal with something we never even considered – terrorism in the US.

Back in 2001 we were living in Battery Park City; for those that don’t know Manhattan well BPC is a thriving neighborhood in Manhattan, it happens to be on a landfill.  The landfill that BPC sits on was actually created by the dirt that was left over from digging deep enough to create the foundation on the Twin Towers.  I remember that Tuesday morning like it was yesterday, it was one of those days that was the perfect day, sunny, nice temp, no humidity, perfect.  I was at work when I heard about the first plane hitting one of the towers; I quickly tried to find out what was going on online but there was nothing.  I was in midtown but my partner was at home that morning, our apartment was about 3 blocks from the towers.  My partner heard the first plane go into the building – at the time he had no idea what the noise was.  At work we all gathered around one of the TVs and watched live as the second plane hit the second tower.  The mayor then told everyone to leave Manhattan; I had no where to go because they weren’t letting anyone come downtown.  Then one tower fell, then the other.  It was completely shocking that this happened, in our city, in our country and blocks from our apartment.  My partner was evacuated by boat to NJ where they had tents and beds set up.  At the time I was working for a global media company, HR kept sending out emails saying every office in the world was closing, except ours in midtown – because some of us had no place to go. A good friend of mine kept calling and telling me to come over.  I finally did.  The next few days I think we were all just mesmerized.  How could this happen?  How could I live in the greatest city in the world and be told you can’t go back to your apartment because the entire area is a crime scene.  We couldn’t go back home for 2 solid weeks.  Mind you, I left for work just wearing a suit, I had to buy new clothes every day.  Once we were able to go back we had to show ID to get in the ‘protected zone’, one of the US Navy War ships was in the waters in lower Manhattan; there were US Military all over the place.  I wish we all had camera phone back then to see what a scene it was.  Slowly life got back to normal but we both were, I think everyone was, a little jumpy, ok  extremely jumpy.

What all of this leaves me thinking about is the solidarity there was in Washington and the entire country then.  I’d like to see that solidarity come back and do whats right for our country.  One of Osama’s main goals was to economically bankrupt the US.  Its time to stop the squabbling and back and forth BS and start solving the problems we have.