Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Home Town

It was a beautiful September day 7 years ago, much like today – blue sky, puffy white clouds, the feel of crisp air on its way.

I was sitting in the office I shared with my brother when one of the girls who worked for him came charging up the stairs “A plane crashed into the World Trade Center, I heard it on the radio”. Her face was white and we just stared at each other. “I’m sure it was a small plane, nothing else could get that close” I assured her, her hands were shaking. We turned on the radio. Don Imus was on, he would become a good friend that day – he stayed calm, he told people reports weren’t verified, he begged them to stay calm too.

Two of the girls who worked for me came in. They had met up at the subway station and they said everyone had radios and TVs on all up and down the avenue. “Someone said it was an airliner” C told me, her hands were shaking too. “I can’t imagine that” I said. “How the hell could a commercial jet plane not notice the WTC”? Almost as if on cue Don said the reports of the plane being a commercial jet plane had been verified by someone on the ground. We all stared at each other for a few moments – they felt like forever, a feeling that would reoccur over and over.

“My aunt works in the towers” V said, she was crying now. I hugged her and picked up the phone just as every line on my phone bank and my brother’s phone bank began to ring. C’s Mom wanted to make sure she was there. V’s Mom said she was trying to find out which tower, which floor, stay calm.

My brother called to say he was heading to Owl’s Head Park in Bay Ridge. He lived right there and you could see all of lower Manhattan from the 69th Street Pier. I told him all his girls were in now and we were handling the phones and I was keeping them calm. We even laughed for a moment at how we called them “the girls” – they were each so young, for many this was their first job and baby bro and I had pretty much adopted them all.

I told everyone to write down the names and cell numbers of everyone they knew at the towers – we would stay calm and we would call every single person. They would all be OK.

What followed is all a bit mixed up in my head. More feelings than memories. I can feel my stomach turn over, I can feel it tighten. I can feel my throat close up. My eyes always just about to overflow. Late that night I would discover deep bruise marks on my thighs from pushing my fists into them to stay calm and focused. The palms of my hands were raw. Don Imus told me to stay calm.

Reports of a second plane. We’re under attack. Huge billowing clouds of black smoke. Sirens blaring. I tried to call my brother. All circuits busy. All circuits busy. He finally got through to me.

“Di – it fell, just went straight down. The clouds are coming at us”.

“What fell? Not the towers!! What the …”

“Di – the tower fell – I can’t watch this – I’m coming in. I’ll be right there. I love you”

“I love you too”

Late that night my brother would find letterhead from Cantor Fitzgerald in his backyard. Pieces large enough to read a sliver of a name, a suite number, their logo. Letterhead that had been on a desk and was now on the ground. Across the Narrows and into Brooklyn.

I called my son. He was asleep, just home from the night shift. I told him to put the TV on. “What the …” was all he said, I could hear Tom Brokaw’s voice in the background. “Ma – I was just there. They moved us to the towers mid shift, a conduit blew. We had to fix it before business started. I did OT Ma. I was going to stay longer. Oh Christ Ma, the guys were still there …”

We stayed on the phone together. Tom Brokaw and Don Imus in the background. My brother showed up – pale and shaking. The girls were holding up their lists. Pages of people. Cousins, friends, brothers, sisters, parents, boyfriends. M was hysterical in the other room. Her Dad, her brothers, her uncles and her boyfriend – all firefighters. All at the towers. In the tower that fell? No one knew.

“Ma! Ma! – I have to go. My beeper is going off, it’s the emergency call. Head office is trying to find us all, all of us who were there. I have to call in. I love you Ma”

“I love you too”

Neighbors came to the office. Someone brought a TV. We watched. We made calls. We updated our lists. Circuits are busy. Circuits are busy. Finding one person took forever. Everything took forever. The air smelled like fire. F-16s started to appear. They flew overhead. Both comforting and frightening. The Pentagon. Pennsylvania.

The guy who owned the deli on the corner came by. He and a few others were taking their SUVs as far into downtown Brooklyn as they could get. They were going to pick up the people walking over the bridge and drive them home. Strangers. Customers. People walking by loaded the cars with water bottles and towels. C walked over to the train station to see what was happening. No mass transportation. All trains had been taken to their last stop. Tracks were being searched. Dogs. Bombs. More to come?

I took all the girls home. Through Bensonhurst and into Boro Park where the ambulance corps were loading up to go into Manhattan. Loud speakers were telling people to close their windows, wear masks. The air is dangerous. I had my window wide open and I breathed deeply. Dangerous? What the hell did dangerous mean anymore.

Late that night I went back to the office. We couldn’t remember if we had turned things off, locked doors. My brother was in charge of phone lists at his house. We still had so many people to find. As I drove down my street I had to pull over for armed vehicles. The army was traveling through my neighborhood. On their way to the Belt Parkway. The first of what would be days and days of rumbling trucks. Trucks taking supplies. Trucks moving armed soldiers. Trucks carrying remains to Staten Island.

The ground rumbled from trucks. The sky shook from F-16s. The smoke. The smell. Endless.

Each time someone was found we all called each other. Each time someone wasn’t found we all went to their house. We fed mothers, fathers, children. We went to the firehouse and brought them food. They shouldn’t have to cook when they were digging for their brothers. I lost count of how many people I hugged. How many hands I clasped. How many times my brother and I would lock eyes across a room of screaming, grieving people.

I went to the church I had gone to as a kid. I went to the Mary statue I had always loved. We always went there to light candles. It was a tradition. For Mom when breast cancer won. For my sister when she gave up on her life. Now for kids we went to school with. For M’s Dad, uncles, brothers. To say thank you – they were found. For M’s boyfriend – who was gone, at the bottom of the tower when it fell like a deck of cards. I can see his face – he had blue twinkling eyes and curly blond hair. I would call him Adonis and he would laugh. He had a melodic laugh. M said she fell in love with his laugh first. His Mom found an engagement ring in his room. M wears it on a chain, next to her heart.

My son worked at Ground Zero from September 12 until the following spring when they closed the site. 12 hours. 16 hours. 7 days a week. A firefighter gave him a piece of a burnt flag from one of the trucks. He put it in a frame. He called me every night. #7 was collapsing. The fires were still burning. Rudy is an asshole. Firefighters are the bravest people on earth. Jimmy can’t find his Dad. Sal can’t find his brother. Soldiers try to smile at the workers. The church is always open. Strangers pack food and socks and shirts. They stand for hours at police barricades waiting for someone to take their offering in. In where it feels like time has stopped. “I feel like I’m in a movie” my son tells me. He drives the utility truck down West Street. He feels awkward with all his official badges on. People stand on the concrete islands that separate the lanes of traffic. They stand there all day and all night. They hold up signs that say Thank You. They offer up water bottles into the open windows of trucks and cars and flatbeds. They shake the hands of firefighters and police officers and construction workers. They hug and nod and look into the eyes of people they will now forever be connected to.

My son has a meltdown on one of these trips down West Street. Days and days of watching and knowing and caring for the firefighters has caught up to him. Jimmy’s Dad is gone. Sal’s brother is gone. He doesn’t feel like the hero people keep telling him he is. “I’m just a guy” he yells. “I’m just a phone guy. I’m just doing what everyone else is doing”. Strangers tell him it’s OK. They get it. They are all in this together.

I wasn’t going to write about 9/11. The day is so exploited. I think of it often. Each time I drive over the Verrazano Bridge I look to where there is a hole in the skyline. My throat closes for a moment. My eyes burn.

I called M this morning as I do so often and always on this day. I told her I loved her. I spoke to her Mom. They were getting ready to go to the firehouse to watch the services. Strangers will bring flowers and food. They will stop and silently look at the photos on the plaque. One will be a photo of a beautiful young man with twinkling blue eyes and curls of blonde hair peeking out from under his fire hat. So handsome in his uniform his Mom muttered over and over and over at his funeral. Hundreds of people came to his funeral. Many of them call her today. Many of them stop and leave flowers and food on her porch. They plant tiny American flags in her garden.

I wasn’t going to write about 9/11. But then someone said small towns are the backbone of this country. They mocked the elite cosmopolitan ways of my home town. They talked about the heartland and said it was miles and miles from here.

ALL of America is a small town. ALL Americans are neighbors. ALL of America is a land with heart.

Look toward those who would unite us. Look toward those who value us.


Raven said...

Amen. Eloquent and moving. You made me cry. You made me proud.

Daryl said...

I am sitting here rocking myself, I closed the door to my office so no one wonders why I am in tears, Dianne I thank you for this ... and I send love to you, your son (who may not be a hero in his own mind but he will always be one in mine), your brother and the 'girls' ...

Rudy was and IS an asshole ...

This city was, is and always will be a 'small town' .. and those who dont get it, well, they never will.



Bear Naked said...

You may not have planned or wanted to write this post about 9/11/01 but I have to thank you that you did decide to write and post it.
A beautiful blog post.

Bear((( )))

Ron said...

Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this, dear lady.

I needed to be reminded again.

Bless you!

P.S. I just love the way you write.

Dana said...

Thank you for sharing this Dianne ... really ... thank you!

Knight said...

Yep, I'm in tears. Thank you for writing this today. I think we all needed it. We need your strength.

Queen-Size funny bone said...

we all need to remember and then we can appreciate and be thankful.

Akelamalu said...

I have never read a personal account of what happened on 9/11, you're moved me to tears. :(

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Dianne....I think this is the most powewrful moving account of 9/11 I have ever read. To have been that close; to have known so many people; to have your own son so close and then for him to have worked there for such a long time, in the aftermath...This has the ring of reality that touches the heart, and soul, and mind.
Thank You for writing this today. Thank You very very much. New York is my Hometown Too, and I know exactly what you are saying about this city. And you are so right. We are all connected, truly.

Seraphine said...

my eyes are misty from reading your recollections. i watched it that day on television, after calling work and telling them to turn on the tv in my office.
i knew everything had changed that day.

Bond said...

Dianne...I wrote about that day a few years ago and then repeated the posting each year...I was in Manhattan that day...I walked the streets for hours with no where to go...the train station where I lived was a major stop for NJT...the cars that sat for days and some weeks were noticable by the dust that collected on them until they began to disappear as families came and retrieved them for the drivers that would never return.

this year I pointedly did not post about the day...all day yesterday i felt 'off' i woke with a sick feeling...I am no longer in NY, but my heart lives there.

If you are at all interested, you can read of my day HERE

Dianne said...

bond - a beautiful genuine post you wrote.
I hope more will follow your link.
How "funny" that we said a few things that shows we both had very similar feelings that day. We are all so connected. NY sends hugs Vin.

Jeni said...

Dianne - such a beautiful, poignant, sad, yet wonderful tribute to those who perished, those who waited, worried, for the millions of us who watched and wept that day and many times since then.
Now, if only -if only -things could somehow come together that would enable people across this country, around the world, to see the senselessness of such an atrocity, to assure that something this horrific would never happen again.
Yes, I dream, I know. But without dreams, what are we then too?

Mrs. C said...

Thanks, Dianne. We should never forget who did this to us, and that it wasn't any political party. You know? We're supposed to all be Americans. It sickens me to see this day exploited for political purposes. I'm at least glad that Obama and McCain have (allegedly) called truce for the day to focus on Sept. 11.

Sparkling Red said...

I'm so grateful that you shared your experience and your feelings. It's too easy for those of us who live far away to distance ourselves from the reality of what happened. We all need to know. We're all in this together.

*love and tears*

bobbie said...

Dianne, I've read many accounts of what happened that day. I've never read one that moved me more than this one.

It isn't just that it brings the day back to me so clearly. It is that you have reminded us again that everywhere in the U.S. IS a small town and that there are good people in our small town.

There will always be those who use our heartbreak and fear to their own end. But we're better than they are! We're going to come through, as we always do. Please God it will be in 2008.

Yes, your son is a hero, as are my friends, Bob and Frankie and Mary, and so many others.

Thank you, Dianne, for this wonderful post.

Dianne said...

jeni - dreams are good, dreams are important and your dream is attainable with the right leaders. Peace Jeni and thank you.

mrs c - thank you. I hate when patriotism is hijacked or abused. It's too precious to not be valued.

sparkling - "love and tears" to you as well. you're a good friend and a good soul.

bobbie - you are welcome! and thanks to you too for "getting it" as the kids would say. they still say that right?
Peace Bobbie. Here's to Hope.

Tammy said...

It is wonderful that so many bloggers like you have remembered this day and have made everyone else remember as well. Thank you!

Chuckie said...

I shut off my TV so I could focus on what you wrote. How beautiful...I felt closer to the incident than when I saw it on TV. For you to experience what you did is special and I'm glad you shared this. I didn't know anybody, but I also paid tribute today. Bless you and your family during this emotional time.

Kerry said...

Thank you, Dianne. That was beautiful.

Dianne said...

tammy - sharing our experiences is one of the wonders of the blog world. thank you

chuck - I appreciate that so much. hugs.

kerry - you are welcome :)
thanks for stopping to read and comment. hugs to you too.

Willie G said...

This is a fantastic reaccounting of a horrible day. My heart still goes out to everyone who lost family and friends. I am so sorry for you and NYC. May the greatest peace be with you all.

Ivanhoe said...

Shivers going up and down my spine, tears are leaving my eyes.

You are such a great storyteller, Dianne. This was the best 911 post I have ever read.

Hugs & love,

Betty said...

Thank you for such a beautiful post. Those of us who live far from New York can only try to imagine how horrendous an experience that was. Your post helps to make it personal for the rest of us, too. It was certainly one of the few times in the country's history that, just for a while, we were all united.

RiverPoet said...

Dianne, I'm so glad that you and Daryl posted today. It means a lot to hear from someone who lives in the city. The pols are really alienating a lot of us right now, trying - still - to divide us after the one event that should have united us.

I am glad for the ones who survived and my heart breaks for the ones who died. It was a big senseless, brutal day in our history. Let's hope it never happens again.

Peace - D

CG said...

NYC is my favourite city; when it was attacked it broke my heart. New Yorkers made us feel so welcome always. What happened was an abomination. People who haven't been there don't understand what I mean when I say it's a friendly city that feels smaller than it is. Whatever happens, you can't defeat New York and the American people.

San said...

Beautiful, Diane. I will never forget happening to have the TV on when it started occurring. Even from my chair, it seemed unbelievable. I cannot imagine how it was to be in the city. And you are SO right. New York City is as heartland as heartland can be.

I lived in San Francisco for many years. Even though the '89 earthquake was a natural disaster and of FAR less consequence than the man-made horror of 9/11, at the time it was devastating for the city we called home. I will never forget how that "elitist" city pulled together. Everyone helped each other. We even had neighborhood people coming to our gallery to make purchases, saying "I survived. Life is precious. I want to help your business." Our gallery was located in the Marina, where the worst destruction occurred. So much for "elitist, liberal" cities who know nothing of neighborliness.


kenju said...

Excellent writing. I can tell how sensitive you are to what happened and how badly it moved you. Reading this made me cry once again, for all those hundreds who died, even though I didn't know any of them. The first time we stood at Ground Zero after the attack, we were almost frozen by the thoughts of how it must have been to be there on that day. We will never forget those who died, or those who carried on to save what/who could be saved and those who worked so hard to clean up the site.

Ralph said...

I remember the disconnect of what was happening that September 11 when seeing the things live on TV. I was so rattled, and Patti and I we had a helpless feeling watching it all. It is all to easy to try to forget the day, like many have forgotten December 7. Few remembrances for either day any more.

Any problems I thought I had were forgotten that day. We were happy when the kids got home and we were together and...I won't say feeling safe, but better as four. But realizing, of course, that so many complete families would be incomplete that day.

I wish that we were like then, one country' together for a little while...

Linda Reeder said...

In Seattle, we heard the news while waking up. I had to go teach first graders. It was the first day of our reading program. I shoved it to the back of my mind so I could carry on. Then I left it there. I never read personal accounts. I watched TV and read newspapers, but tried to distance myself from all of it. Then I became enraged by how it was exploited.
Thank you for this personal account. It means a lot to me.

Dianne said...

willie g - thank you for your visit and your lovely comment. Peace Willie.

ivanhoe - thank you! If I was going to write about I wanted it to have feeling and weight so your comment means a lot to me.

betty - imagine what could have been done with all that unity had we had a President. What a shame we run around like a country without a head.

riverpoet - they can only divide if we let them which is why I work so hard to be tolerant. Daryl's post blew me away. Peace.

cg - thank you. NY is full of the kindest folks on earth and I'm so happy you like us :)
Most people do love Americans, it's just our govt. they fear and hate as do I.

san - we had so many people doing the same for the businesses downtown. and many of the businesses fed and sheltered people for days and days. amazing what heart us coastal heathans have isn't it?
Peace San

kenju - thank you so much. the thing that hurts the most is to feel they died in vain or to feel we here are not valued as part of the country. the mayor who rode our backs for years has now turned around to mock the very city he allegedly rescued.

ralph - a litle bit of time here or there and my son would have been there. my gratitude to the universe is rooted in that moment.
I too wish Ralph.

linda - thank you so much for your beautifully open comment. it means so much to me to touch people with my words. thank you Linda!

Anonymous said...

An amazing piece of pure gritty truth.

You weren't going to write about it today, but today needed you to write, to share your experience so that we who were not there in person can know just a little more of the harrowing story and for all to remember. Thank you!

Patti said...

I also want to thank you for this beautifully written post, Dianne.

It was such a surreal day, watching TV and seeing it all unfold. I can't imagine being in NY that day.

Your account really put me there - great job.
Your experience was horrific and I hope it helps you to write about it. You weren't going to write about 9/11, but we're glad you did.

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi Dianne! Bobbie was right, I cried. You may not have wanted to write about that day, but I am glad you did. I will never forgot that day, and I don't understand how anyone could.

Your son is a hero. As is all the people there that day and after. Lisa

Lisa said...

Peace to you, dear friend.

Dianne said...

rob - thank you! I appreciate your words and really appreciate your visit. Peace.

patti - friends like you made me glad I shared. It's important for the entire country to know NY IS part of America.

lisa (rambling) - bobbie warned ya eh? :)
I wish I lived closer to you both.

lisa - always wonderful to know you're out there lady. did you see "himself" last night preaching common sense!? Lord he's sexy when he's righteous lol
love ya lisa

tt said...

I knew you would tell us a moving and loving story about this day. I just knew you would. There have been several times that I wondered how things went for you..the day our lives changed forever...several times I almost asked but didn't. I would just wait and see what you had to say.

Babe...I felt every word you wrote. I felt the anguish and the angst in your gut. My vision blurred and now there's makeup on the back of my hand. It's just makeup though; not soot or ash or sweat. It'll wash off.
I can only imagine how your son is affected by his memories. He was brave to keep on not let his emotions over ride his sense of helping humanity...however he could.
You too. At a time like that...holding a hand or making a phone call....makes us all one. heart is hugging you so tightly....
Thank you.

Karen said...

I got teary.

That smell. That freaking smell of burning, smoke, and death. I will never forget that smell.

I didn't post today because I couldn't find the right words.

Bond said...

Dianne: Thanks for the hug... I try to explain what happened today in tomorrow's post...

Hugs back to you. It is strange being in another part of the country now and the disconnect...People do not even mention what today is about....

In my mind it is about two words


Rambling Woods said...

I read yours and Bond's posts.. I have no words and that doesn't happen often..

Michael Manning said...

Well done, Dianne.

Travis said...

My heart still bleeds for the lost, and always will.

Carletta said...

I am in tears and can't think enough to write and make sense.

So moving, so from the depths of your heart, so very well done.
Bless you.

Diane Mandy said...

I'm so glad you ignored your instincts and wrote about your experiences on that horrible, fateful day,

Thank you.

CrystalChick said...

Very moving. Thank you for sharing.
Yes, we all are neighbors and should definitely be looking to those who value and unite us. Well said.

It does feel that lately things have been drifting so far apart, from the war to the economy, issues in the election, etc. etc. but we are the UNITED States of AMERICA and we are great and we'll work on just getting back to the roots, the basics, and become even stronger!

Tink said...

Wow. I just... There are no words. My heart breaks for all the loss. Beautiful post all the same. Really beautiful.

Dianne said...

tt - I couldn't respond to you last night because - well - you just welled me up girl lol
thank you for the hugs, they are felt. the angst now is that that day seems to have been for nothing. few of the lessons learned stuck. the unity has dissipated, we are a divided country in a dangerous world. and our leaders fail us - time after time after time.

karen - first and foremost - hugs kid. you don't need to have the words when you don't, not every moment needs to be shared. I've never written about that day before, never. I got so angry at how NYC was dismissed, shrugged off, even ridiculed and I couldn't stand it. we all did so good that day and in all the days that followed. the rest of the country should take a lesson from that.

bond - you're welcome buddy :)
the thing about being a NYer is that you always are, no matter where you are and we recognize each other and we get it. one of the other commenters said it wasn't mentioned in her local papers either and that's just shameful.

rambling - words not necessary, I know your heart. the thing about bond's post that really got to me was all the cars at the stations all over LI and NJ and CT. the cars that were waiting for people who were not coming back. Imagine being the family member that had to go and pick up that car. makes me shudder.

thank you michael

travis - I send hugs to your heart :)

carletta - thank you! you made perfect sense and I appreciate your words.

diane - I know I keep repeating myself but I can't say enough how deeply I resent the crap about "the coasts" not being "America". WTF!? Firefighters in CA risk their lives for weeks, leave their families and exist on little more than courage to fight the wild fires. NYers all reached out and took care of each other - as we have during blackouts and blizzards. I'm so sick of this. Shame on politicians who clearly can only hope to win by dividing the country and scaring the shit out of people. Gee - isn't that what dictators do!

crystalchick - thank you so much for commenting on that part of my post! I want that message to go out far and wide. I love that you're hopeful, I'm trying too.

Dianne said...

tink - thank you! you're a sweet girl. it comes through in your blog all the time. you remind me of "the girls" :)

Matt-Man said...

Wow. Great post Dianne. Well done. Have a great weekend and Cheers!!

Richard said...

Dianne, this was very moving. I am glad you and your brother and son came through this OK. My condolences to all those friends and coworkers who lost loved ones.


Real Live Lesbian said...

By far the best 9/11 post I've read. I agree that this day has been exploited. But I think we should remember. Remember the way our country came together. I couldn't hand out water bottles, but I could pray for the ones who lost loved ones and for the ones who had to work in that rubble.

I posted on my blog yesterday and someone had the nerve to say that we should forget. Move on. Let it fade into history because it causes hurt to some people in our country.

I'm sorry. But I have to disagree. I think we should always remember.

Thanks for telling your story.

Hugs, Lynn

Michelle's Rambling Woods said...

When they started the search, I told my MIL a native NYer that the dust had to be dangerous, that it was going to make the people sick. Then Christy Todd-Whitman the great environmentalist for the Bush admin came out and said that the EPA said the air was safe. It wasn't safe and how many are dead or dying now because of it and still the gov't is denying the problem. The losses from 9/11 keep on coming...

Kelly said...

Dianne, This is one of the most moving and beautiful posts that I've read. It is so moving to hear your actual feelings, thoughts, and the conversations that you had with your brother, son, co-workers, family and friends! You are all heros! I think that by you having the presence of mind to have people right down names, cell numbers and information of those known to be in the buildings and in the area was brilliant idea and probably gave a sense of calm to lots of people that day. So many of us just walked around with phones in our hands and were glued to the TV. I know how proud you are of your brother and son as we all are! I am so glad that you wrote your recounts for us and I know it must have been hard writing it down, but it was helpful for many of us. Your post said so much more than just the obvious. I saw, the importance of friends, co-workers and strangers all coming together as "one family" and I think that this is such an important and valuable lesson that gets forgotten and lost a lot in normal everyday life! Thank you for sharing your memories of that dreadful day! Also, thank you for your very nice comment that you left on mine too. Hugs to you and all!!

Deborah Godin said...

This is deeply moving, Dianne, and I'm sure not easy for you to share, but it's appreciated. I particularly like how you ended it, with the comments on small towns, large cities, and neighbors. I was in the foothills of Alberta when I saw what was happeneing that day. It's a very beautiful place, often called "God's Country" - but just as surely as we are all neighbors, that term applies to anywhere we are, even in the heart of a big cosmopolitan city. And especially one undergoing such a horrific event.

Dianne said...

matt - thanks!!

rich - I have to say I wish my son talked about it more but most of them don't

RLL - thanks and hugs to you too. I thought your 9/11 post was lovely and I too disagree with your commenter.

michelle - my son goes for monthly testing. he has resp. problems as well as other illnesses that suddenly popped up a few years after 2001. most of them are sick. Whitman is a liar and Rudy knew she was lying, he wanted Wall St to stay open.
the only fun thing is to watch the 2 of them turn on each other now.

kelly - you are very kind! thank you

deborah - I love that "God's country" is anywhere we are!! Lovely. Thank You

Anndi said...

I tried avoiding the memories altogether this year.

I had just starting working in a plant that was surrounded by refineries and stood in the conference room with some of my fellow firefighters watching a grainy channel and unable to speak.

I lost many brothers that day.

I know how sad this day is for my Honey, who is a volunteer firefighter, how significant, and why he has a tattoo to commemorate it.

This was the most poignant and true account of that day I have ever read. Thank you.


Those terrorists attacked far more than America. They attacked humanity.

ETK said...

That was heartbreakingly beautiful Dianne.

Dianne said...

oh anndi hugs to you too and to your brave honey.

etk - thank you sweet girl.

Inanna said...

Even from watching so far away, I experienced some of the same feelings, and after seven years and so much media, it had numbed me to the raw emotion of that day, until I read this.

If I could state with eloquence how beautiful it was, I would. I cried.

Dianne said...

inanna - thank you! you did state with eloquence.

Shelly said...

The most amazing post I've ever read. I had gooseflesh all the way down to my ankles and giant alligator tears. Bless you for writing this, for sharing your heart.

Kimmie said...

I don't know where to begin. The tears are spilling from my eyes. This is the most riviting and beautiful story of 9/11 I have ever read. Thank You for sharing it with us Dianne...May All Of Us Who Witnessed 9/11 Always Remember What That Day Felt Like, And Who Was Responsible For It. I know I will NEVER FORGET! God Bless You Dianne!

Hilary said...

Heart-wrenching and beautifully written. A hug to you.

Dianne said...

shelly - thank you so much!

kimmie - I appreciate that :)

hilary - thanks for the hug, you're real good at them :)

Anonymous said...

Oh jeez...i read this and it made me feel like 9/11 was yesterday. What struck me the most about this piece was the part where your brother found the burnt stationary from Cantor Fitzgerald in Brooklyn. On that day, I ended up at my sister's place in Carroll Gardens right near the entrance to the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel. We went up to the roof of her building that evening and picked up some still smoldering debris. A memo to someone I didn't know who probably died that day.

Thanks for sharing this. I think it helps us all get through this tragedy.

Katie said...

It is a beautiful thing to hear someone else talk about their experience. Thank you. To this day I don't believe I know anyone that died but it has rocked me to my soul and I feel deeply connected. Maybe cus I watched everything from my window and I spend so much time in Hoboken. Thanks for reading my blog!

Dianne said...

spartacus - I so appreciate your comment. makes sharing feel worthwhile.

katie - talking always helps :)

magnetbabe said...

Just got around to reading this and am in tears. Stunning. I had no idea you were so close to this. Thank you for writing so eloquently and being just one of the voices that will help take America back. You are so right, we are all neighbors.

Anonymous said...

Your words have touched me. Even as I sit in Montana Retired after 32 years fighting fires, You brought days and nights back...