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5 years ago...
Sunday, September 10, 2006

Five years ago today, I was working in my office in Manhattan just blocks from the World Trade Center. I had lived there long enough to take the towers for granted.

That Monday afternoon, the small advertising firm I worked for had layed of several employees. The economy was tanking, and they were cutting back. I was fortunate to keep my job.

The following morning, I was heading in to work when a plane crashed into the World Trade Center. I immediately called home to Virginia to tell my mother there had been a freak accident in NYC, but I was safe and everything was okay. My mother had a propensity to worry about me, and would even call and check in after watching Law and Order. I knew she would be worried and I just wanted put her at ease.

Minutes after hanging up, I saw the second plane crash in to the World Trade Center. The shock of it all wore off rather quickly as it was apparent this was a purposeful attack. Panic set in.

I called home again, terrified. In that moment I just wanted to hear it would be okay.

There was a sense of disbelief as people leapt to their deaths, the sounds of sirens mixed with those of people praying aloud.

As I walked back to my apartment, I turned and watched as the first tower fell. I made it home and watched on television as other hijacked aircraft was reported. President Bush was flown from place to place and finally they announced he was en route to out nuclear facilities in Alabama.

My fears were capitalized as I genuinely thought this may very well be the end. I tried repeatedly calling home and repeatedly I received the "all circuits busy" message. I somehow made contact and remember my mother answering the phone. I had never heard her voice like that. I told her how afraid I was, and that I thought this might be the end. Her voice cracked as she told me she loved me and that it would all be okay, "This too shall pass."

In the days following, the city was virtually on lock down. Stuck in my apartment, I kept a constant pace going from staring at the plume of smoke rising over the skyline to pouring over the images flooding the internet. I ventured in to the city to volunteer some and passed by the memorials and walls walls of missing flyers.

September 11th changed us all. It would forever be a defining moment, a benchmark. I don't like to talk about the politics of 9/11. I know some folks do and that is fine. But I saw things that day that had nothing to do with a "D" or an "R." On September 11, 2001 I witnessed the frailty of humanity and the heroics of selfless service.

Over the course of the week following 9/11, I put together a short video of imagery from that day. As the five year anniversary approached I thought about making a different one. I decided to let the one I made in the moment of the event stand for itself.

This video does contain some troubling, but necessary imagery.

posted by Libertas @ 1:33 AM,


At 4:16 AM, Blogger JPTERP said...

Libertas, very well put together video clip. And appreciate hearing your story as well.

For me at least, it's amazing how that day is in some ways still very fresh, and also distant. I had a good friend who worked in Tower II--the 90th floor. I remember going up to NJ that weekend to help load trucks at Salvation Army depot--water and socks for the workers at ground zero, friends providing friends with support, my friend’s family—at that time still in a state of shock.

This is the first time in four years that I haven’t gone up to New Jersey on the 9/11 weekend, but the emotions are still raw at times. My thoughts are with the families—but most of all I think I’m just going to remember a good-humored, decent friend. I don’t know if there’s a heaven, but I do know, if there is, that he’s in good company.

At 9:37 AM, Blogger kilo said...

Great post big guy. Thank you for sharing this.

At 9:57 AM, Anonymous brimur said...

Thank you for this post. It's still so tough to think about, but unthinkable to forget.

At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless you for this post. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as we remember that day.

At 5:21 PM, Blogger The Red Queen said...

Kilo sent me to your post, and now you are linked to mine. Thank you for reminding me- too soon we forget.

At 5:57 PM, Blogger Doug in Mount Vernon said...

Very nice, thanks for your story.

At 7:03 PM, Blogger spankthatdonkey said...

Great Post !

At 8:59 PM, Anonymous Mason Conservative said...

Because its hard to watch and because it has disturbing images, we must watch it. We must understand the full signifigence of this event, and you've done it brilliantly. Well done.


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