Friday, September 11, 2015

Fourteen Years Later

It's been something of a rite around here: a post dedicated to the anniversary of September 11, 2001.

It's hardly minimized when you're a New Yorker. Oh, no. It will take many years for that to happen. If ever.

Even for me: nothing more than a lousy suburbanite who suffered no truly personal losses that day, there's still a sting. An anger. A bitterness. The whole day - every ounce of it - is still so vivid to me. Walking out of our apartment to a blue sky that seemed to bless the warmth in the air. Listening to Mr. Imus as Warner Wolf called in to say he felt the first impact from his apartment. Knowing I was on NY route 139 in Somers, NY, right near its intersection with NY route 100. Beginning to turn the dial for more.

Remembering how I glanced at the sky after the second plane hit while southbound on Interstate 684 near the Katonah service area.

The scene at WGCH as everything else unfolded, and relaying things I had heard on the radio to my colleagues Jim Thompson and Dima Joseph, who frantically worked the story to get on the air.

Seeing a friend sob as one of the towers fell.

Watching the final tower fall myself as a I sat in a nearly empty conference room.

There was a piece of me that ached to get on the air and talk. I'm not sure what good I would have been.

Short of that, I drove home.

I wound up on air - in theory, to do a golf show - on September 12. I can't think of a darker hour of radio in my career.

Every year since, I've relived it. I've watched the video. I've listened to the audio that I collected.

I always think of my great friend Harold, still pondering the loss of a childhood friend. I always think of the Zions of Greenwich, a football family who lost a father. I think of wanting to be close to my unborn child, as we tried to figure out exactly what the hell was going on.

This is rambling. I apologize. Maybe it's the mood. A lousy night's sleep. A bad football game. Bad...stuff. I can't quite seem to get at what I'm trying to say here.

It will pass. Work to be done. Football to broadcast.

Every year, I put Springsteen's The Rising on. I feel sick. Sad. 

For some reason, I don't have it in me this year. Again, maybe it's the mood. I admit something's not right.

What I feel matters very little. It's those who lost - and those we lost - that matter on September 11.

I don't want today off. I don't want a holiday. I want life - the very thing we were all doing 14 years ago - to go on.

So I'll call into WGCH in a moment to chat sports with Tony Savino. I'll go on the air on the HAN Network at 11 from a remote in Vista, NY. Then I'll do my best to call football later on from Yorktown High School.

And as we always do, we keep moving forward.

In New York, Washington, Shanksville, Boston, San Francisco, and everywhere else, the same will go on.

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