Monday, September 10, 2007

Six Years Ago Tonight...

Two young kids on top of the World Trade Center - January 4, 1989 (Photo by Jon from Richmond)

I'm going to post something light tonight, as tomorrow will be heavy, as every September 11th for the foreseeable future will be. For all of us in the US, but mostly for those of us who lived in and around New York, Boston, Washington, and even Pittsburgh - in other words, the entire north east (and even east coast) - September 11th remains a raw nerve.

I took several pictures on that day in early 1989. One of them, and I'll find it when I have time, shows the towers of the World Trade Center in shadows. It's a pretty good shot.

I spoke with somebody today - a guest at the red bullseye - whose birthday is tomorrow. We all know of the sadness that 9/11 brings. Certainly it will cause each of us to at least pause. How can we not? The media (and bloggers and others) will ram the memory down your throat. All this guy wants to do is celebrate his birthday though. He was mindful of the awful memory, he told me, but to him, life must go on. That's what made me instantly like him. To him, 9/11 is a date - but it's his birthday. One must be able to celebrate as we remember; thus is the circle of life.

Six years ago tonight, I talked to an old friend. Then I intended to watch the Yankees play, but they were rained out. I know the Giants played on Monday Night Football. Everything else is a blur. Of course, my memories of September 11, 2001 are "wicked" vivid. When I think of 9/11, I think of many images. I think of two friends - Harold and Sean, both touched deeply by the event. Each lost friends. Each were moved so distinctly. I always send Harold a note every September 11 to remind him how happy I am that we're friends, and that I always think of him on this date. I've spent countless hours with Sean, and remember talking to him on September 12th, to be exact, doing one of the saddest hours of radio I can ever recall.

I remember that drive, and how I looked at the sky after the second plane struck. And I remember not being able to comprehend it all. It didn't seem real, and I didn't feel like I had a right to be connected. Yes, my country was under attack, and so was my "home city" (or the closest city to my home), but I lost nobody directly, as I've said before. I knew of Harold's friend (a Port Authority cop who was featured in Oliver Stone's recent movie), a member of the Greenwich Cardinals football family, and other friends of friends.

I also think of my best friend - Sandi, "The Wife." Not for anything specific that she did, but just for who she was, and is. She was four months pregnant with The Son, and all I wanted was to have her meet me at home, because if the world was ending, then that's who I wanted it to end with. I learn more about her every day, and recall that her stoicism was more a result of the fear of the whole thing than any inner calm. She didn't want to deal with the conflict of it all...until that jet flew overhead just after four the next morning. Then all bets were off.

Oh, and how patriotic we all were! We were just one big, sad nation - together in our sorrow. Please. I knew those flags would all be tattered not long after, and we'd soon be back to politics and bullshite as usual. Are we a better country six years later? No, we're back to sniping over the stupidest things - what to build at "Ground Zero" (hated the term the first time I heard it), where certain memorials can be built, how many toxins were in the air at the site, are there still remains to be found, is Rudy evil...and on and on and on. Did we do this same crap after December 7, 1941?

Note - Anybody not knowing what happened on that date

I will play Bruce Springsteen's The Rising tomorrow, as I have every year on September 11 since it came out. I will also play what I am posting here - a montage of the events of that day, covered by many sources. Friends, I warn you that some of this is too painful to recall, and that's fine. For me, I want that memory. I want to see those buildings again. I want to see them standing and healthy. Then I need to see what happened again. That rage is so important to me...and you. Seeing it brings it all back for me.

Six years ago tonight. Where were you?

So I said I would do something light tonight. Something frivolous. I the next post.

Here's the audio montage of the events of September 11, 2001. It is dedicated to the lives lost on that day, and continue to be lost as a result of the air quality. It is also dedicated to everyone who experienced September 11 - and that means everyone.

No comments: