September 11, 2008


Lower Manhattan, September 10, 2007


Bissage said...

We got a call from my wife's sister and turned on the television and saw the second hit.

It was a terrible thing to see but it was, of course, much, much worse for too many others.

Looking back, though, it was funny how we all felt connected to one another as Americans.

And now, here we are watching and participating in the three ring circus of petty insults that is how we elect our Commander-In-Chief.

Sometimes I like to think we've lost our way but it's the sad truth that things are the way they are for reasons that are unfathomable.

goesh said...

I had returned to the office, the security guard said there was some kind of fire at the Pentagon and a big one in New York - a bunch of us drove to a nearby pizza place we knew had a big screen tv, the manager sensed the urgency, we saw America had been attacked.

paul a'barge said...

also this

George said...

"Tell God to Blow the Wind From the West..."

Mr. Kevin Cosgrove's phone call to 911 from the 105th floor where he is with two other men.

Youtube. Adult listening only.

God have mercy on all our souls.

Peter V. Bella said...

The day America cried.

reader_iam said...

This morning in my journal I wrote only a list of the names of the people I knew, or whom people close to me knew, who were lost that day.

That is all.

Revenant said...

Never forget, and never forgive.

Richard Dolan said...

Nice photo. Manhattan looks good from Brooklyn. Seven years ago, I was standing in a crowd in front of 140 B'way watching the towers burn. Today, there is a memorial going on in the park across from the same spot, where the NYPD is slowly reading the names of the dead. There's a large crowd, very quiet, mostly of people on the way to work, stopping for a minute to watch and listen. A group of Mennonites is here handing out free copies of a CD called Amazing Grace. Very nice of them to do that.

The Drill SGT said...

I was at my office in Alexandria VA, a couple of miles south of the Pentagon.

We had a flat screen TV in the lobby area. Didn't see the first plane go in of course, but was standing there when the second hit. I worked for a defense contractor, we had folks at the Pentagon that day and I had done duty there. I remember commenting to another ex-officer beside me:

We're at war. I don't know who we're at war with, but we're at war.

A few minutes later we could walk to the other side of the building and watch smoke rise from the Pentagon. I didn't know anybody from the WTC, though I had lived in NJ and neighbors commuted to NYC.

I did know people killed at the Pentagon.

al said...

I still remember that day. From the second hit on I was online looking for more information. It was interesting the BBC web site had better video than anyone else.

I took part in the 2996 Project in 2006. People volunteered to write memorials for those who died. Some are very simple, others incredibly detailed. It gave those of us with no direct connection a chance to remember someone. Please take a look if you have some time.

George said...

Here's the trailer for Phillippe Petit's documentary "Man on Wire" about his tightrope walk between the Towers.

Truly, a glorious movie about the celebration of life.

I had no idea he planned the event for years and with his friends made numerous secret trips to the top when the building was under construction.

He stayed on the wire for 45 minutes, making eight trips back-and-forth, teasing the police.

He even lay down on the wire.

chickenlittle said...

I spent the morning of 9/11/01 in a hospital emergency room, temporarily half-blinded by an eye injury.

My hat's off to all first responders of all stripes, now and forever.

downtownlad said...

It's time to stop mourning. I say that as a New Yorker.

Pogo said...

I was working in a hospital in Minnesota when I walked past a lobby with a TV and the image of the Tower on fire, then the second plane rammed into another.

A small group gathered to watch in disbelief, silent.

That day and the next I remember VH1 running the song "Overcome" by 'Live' over and over, set to images of the scenes there in NYC. You still can watch some of that here.

In a few days there were already people like DTL saying in effect 'so what?' or that we deserved it. And it was like my eyes were opened for the first time in my life as to how the world actually worked.

Marcus Aurelius seemed a godsend just then.

downtownlad said...

Go fuck yourself Pogo. You have to politicize everything, don't you.

I was in New York that day, my company was hit, and I know people that died. So really - go fuck yourself.

It's been seven years. People need to live for the present. If we constantly mourn over this day for the rest of our lives - the terrorists have won.

I'll never forget, but I'm done with mourning.

downtownlad said...

Sorry for the vulgar language, but nothing pisses me off than people who try to politicize this day. Especially people who have absolutely no personal connections to what happened.

You have no fucking idea how I felt that day. And you never will.

Pogo said...

Not political, DTL, martial.

And heavens, son, you been sayin' "get over it" since about 30 days after.

I say no one "gets over" the deaths and destruction in a national trauma. The memory fades but never really dies. If you count this as unwarranted 'mourning', well, you're wrong.

"You have no fucking idea how I felt that day. And you never will."
Doubtless, because you have never said. I'd listen, but that's your call.

Measured by your behavior here ever since then, however, I gather the effects weren't salutary.

MadisonMan said...

I agree that if I'd been there 7 years ago, I think I'd be through, mostly, mourning. But not everyone grieves at the same pace. If anyone is still crippled by grief and fear, though, I do hope they're are seeking some kind of assistance.

Trooper York said...

For the guys from the Happy Hookers who I busted chops on when they cut in front of the line at Mastellones, for the woman who had just left her restaurant to start at Windows, for the dude who used to sell me books at the Borders in the first tower, for the kid from Honduras who went from bussing tables in a midtown joint to working in the towers, for the guy from Cantor who used to come with us to the Yankee games…I am thinking of you today and will remember you at mass.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

rhhardin said...

Rush starts out detailing Democrat treason following 9/11.

It's about time somebody did that.

Glen said...

It didn't occur to me until this morning that I had gone to bed without any worries of what a new 9/11 might bring.

Cedarford said...

Revenant said...
Never forget, and never forgive.

We forget "big days" people from various special interest groups tell us we are obligated to remember and mark annually, all the time.

They used to commemorate Lindhbergs's Paris flight every year. For almost 20 years Nov 22nd was set aside as an unoffical National Day of Mourning, with TV Networks devoting hours of coverage of the Royal Family arriving at the Eternal Flame for the Ceremony, all the old footage and newreels were regurgitated, newspapers piled on too with story after story of Camelot.
Remember VE Day? VJ Day? Armistice Day? Appotomax Day? Armistice Day?

Pearl Harbor Day, lest we never forget? How about Armistice Day or the annual Moon Landing celebration?

Each was acompanied by devotees telling the rest of the population, more stridently each year until they also faded off...that it was bad and callous not to join in commemoration rituals.

The other Day, a person wrote the local rag reminding people that Sept 18th was POW/MIA Day and it was disgraceful that Americans were not flying the flag as POW/MIA groups demanded, that few have purchased their own POW/MIA "black flag".
This was about a month after someone noted it was clearly bigoted that people did not request businesses and groups to mark AIDs Day, and that it was only a minute of silence and grieving requested....And that Rainbow flags were available through their activist group...

So yes, 9/11 will fade, especially since it was a very small number killed in the only real enemy attack - pretty marginal casualtie for wars in our past and the world's.

We haven't exactly proved our "Greatest Generation" mettle after 9/11, either. We are unable to seem to summon the will to rebuild at the Pit - perhaps because endless mourning and victim-pandering is easier than approving blueprints. There is no national will for providing more military troops, paying higher taxes, at least rescinding tax cuts for the rich. We have been diverted by our society becoming completely split apart on matters like Iraq, enemy prisoner treatment, our obligation to start several more neocon-demanded wars to "save Our Special Friend, secure America, spread democracy in Muslim lands with no eye on cost or casualties".

After 7 years, perhaps it is time, while we have time while 9/11 is more than a distant bad memory, to seriously rethink what we have been doing....and see if we are impoverishing ourselves with excessive WOT spending, if we have bigger challenges than a few thousand murderous Islamoids confronting us, and seriously think about what price the nation, not just half of it - is willing to pay to "save oppressed Muslim freedom lovers" in 7-8 countries the neocons want us to begin military operations in.

Seriously ask what price is Bin Laden's head worth. 10,000 casualties in Pakistan, 50,000 if we kill him and don't have to give him to ACLU lawyers to consult with?
What price are we willing to pay for a new Cold War with Russia? Or "bringing democracy" via Marines and US Airforce to Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Uzbeckistan, Yemen, Eritria, Zimbabwe, Burma. Are we willing to admit that 7 years of claims that high tech wonder weapons makes US wars of nation building cheap and easy was a crock of shit?

What Homeland security measures and spending have we had 7 years to observe and see what is ridiculously onerous and what is pure earmark pork?

Another year, or ten years of reading off names at the Pit, politicians schmootching "Hero government employees who save us All from Evildoers", bagpipes, and floodlights on the long to be empty Pit are all nice. Nice in the "lets all mourn and hug and talk of how wonderful healing and closure and more Federal money is even better" way.
But it is the same old act we have been doing by rote for too long, IMO.

People avoid the Oklahoma City Memorial and its chairs and museum of death as creepy. Too many years have gone by and new "Days That Changed Everything!" have happened.

The Drill SGT said...


I have to disagree. I don't think we're "mourning". Call it "remembrance"

9/11 is one of the 3 events that I will take to my grave.

- Where was I when I learned JFK was shot? Junior High History class (Mr O'Neil)
- Where was I when Challenger exploded? DC City Clerk getting my marriage license
- Where was I when the planes hit the WTC. At work watching.

others may have a different list, perhaps including the Moon Landing, but this is MY list.

MadisonMan said...

The glow in the picture reminds me of the scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark above the island in Greece when the ark of the covenant sucks all bodies up into the sky.

rhhardin said...

I remember the moon landing. Reef hotel lobby in Honolulu.

Kennedy, at work but not much interested. They closed the comp center early and I went flying.

Challenger explosion, I don't remember the circumstances. Probably doing something.

WTC came during Imus, who provided the absolutely best coverage incidentally, as he always does on real news. All the other guys are talking to children, or actually imagined women in the audience.

I think Imus excels because during actual crisis he's not trying to sell some Imus Ranch premium like he is the rest of the time.

On being serious, most people think there's a dividing node, one side labelled serious and the other side labelled frivolous.


Frivolous is actually a node above serious. Serious is just another way of being frivolous. Look, for example, at the media.

There's an actual serious that goes unnoticed, that cannot be intended, is accidental and always identified retrospectively.

rhhardin said...


A better analysis is here (USS Clueless)

I don't see that anything in that old analysis has come out seriously wrong.

Chip Ahoy said...

paul a'barge, thank you for the tribute link.

Up 'till now I never allowed myself to indulge such tributes. Maudlin sentimentality. So I thought.

As a child I always enjoyed visits to New York. The intersecting caverns of buildings was awe inspiring. But then visits as an adult always leave me depressed. The place strikes me as the embodiment of all that is wrong with densely overly populated metropolises. Being in the city causes me to feel filthy.

On the highway leaving New York to the airport in New Jersey, looking back at the city and seeing the statue of liberty in the distance sticking up above a layer of smog, I recall thinking, "if the whole of Manhattan collapsed into the deep water bay, the nation would be incrementally cleansed." We'd proceed without missing a beat. Eager to be home to bright colors and green lawn.

But viewing these tributes, with sweet tender Enya music contrasted with hideous aggression and devastation, invokes a rage so fierce it burns my insides. It's an anger that is most uncomfortably uncharacteristic. I've never felt the faintest trace of fear from so-called terrorism. Just annoyance. Most notably at airports, sufficient to put me off flying altogether. The phenomenon really should be rightly called annoyancism. As my viewing these tributes progresses, especially the shots of bodies falling from buildings as if suspended in space forever, it creates a desire for my country to throw everything it has to attack the very heart of Islam, as they attacked the thing that represented to them the heart of America --to attempt to ruin that religion for everybody who practices it. To reverse the hurt. If my country's president, of whatever party, ordered the erasure of Mecca entirely, made that spot uninhabitable for the next 10,000 years I would support it. If my country's president chose to pick off dictators one by one, I would throw my inheritance at the effort and otherwise contribute however I could.

Then I get quiet and slip into prayer -- for help through such uncharitable thoughts, for a return to to my true self which seems a distant charm.

blake said...

I reviewed Man on Wire here.

Nothing more.

Pogo said...

Nicely put, Chip.