9/11, NYC project managers and the American spirit. I have been through 2 WTC bombings. Today I was surprised to be in a funk. It's 18 years later after all. I read a quote on twitter that I think is apt. I'm paraphrasing, but : "No matter how long ago it happened some of us will relive the trauma."
NY'ers get a bad rap. I'm from NJ, but I worked in Manhattan so long that I think I can claim residence. I don't think of NY/NJ folks as rude. We're direct. We are linear problem solvers. Much like "the Donald". When he came down the escalator the day he announced my ears lit up. I have been in little doubt since about the turnaround he proposed. I've also been astounded by the depth of his mission. It is indeed spiritual and absolutely hearkens back to the Founding Fathers.
So 9/11. @Jaime is correct. It was a beautiful blue sky day. I emerged from the Path train at about 8:56 in Tower 1 with my commuting buddy. The security guard at the top of the stairs said "the situation is getting dangerous" and we were directed to the side entrance at Church Street. Outside emergency personnel directed us up the street where we had to push through a phalanx of photographers and gawkers with folding chairs. Meaghan, my friend, was using her cellphone with no success.
Plane #2 hit overhead as we go to the corner. The street rumbled and Meaghan grabbed my hand. I asked her if she knew the nearest ferry stop to NJ, so we ran to the Seaport. A block away from the ferry we encountered a Lebanese guy selling food in a trailer on the corner. He was crying listening to the radio. Meaghan insisted on buying us water, so we bought our waters from the crying man and moved on.
We arrived at the floating dock for the ferry along with the other escapees. It was a mix of bankers, lawyers, and support staff. Amusingly we were all dressed in the recently approved "business casual". We were also connected by our emotions - pissed, sad and shocked, but in true NYC fashion we were quiet. The exception was a young blonde Mom with a toddler in a stroller. She was bawling out loud. This caught the attention of the project managers. The ferry pulled in full of passengers.
It was clear that the crew had just gotten news over the radio about the WTC, so the captain announced that they would not be allowing passengers to disembark and they would not allow us to board. This did not sit well with the project managers. A furious pantomime ensued.The "lady with the baby" was getting on the boat, um, goddamnit. The deck hands folded their Popeye arms while the captain supervised from the bridge. The Tommy Hilfiger/Nautica clad pirates stormed the plank.
It was a tense, probably - 2 minutes! The captain realized he'd lost. He threw his arms up in the air, the Popeye guys stepped back, the Tommy Hilfiger guys strolled back to the dock, and the "lady with the baby" strollered up the plank to our loud cheers. When the next ferry arrived I threw the deckhands a 20. They protested it was only 15 bucks, but "dude please keep the change". Meaghan and I watched Tower 2 collapse on the boat's TV. The bar was opened to prevent the boat listing.
As we rounded the tip of Manhattan CNN was broadcasting the Pentagon attacks. A destroyer was in front of us from Earle Naval Station being sent out of port -a lesson from When we arrived in NJ we were given a ride by a nurse that worked at St. Vincent's (now closed). Hospital staff were told to stay in NJ, but there were no patients unfortunately to evacuate. Borrowing a car from Meaghan's family I was home in 2 hours. We listened to Howard Stern on the radio. He's a PIG pig, but not that day.
This is my husband's WTC pin. His uncle, Robert Koch, owned the steel company that built the WTC. A funny thing. As I was fleeing the shadow of a bombed building I was concerned that it would pancake lower Manhattan. My husband wasn't sure if I'd come home, but years before he'd challenged his uncle on the wisdom of building so high. Uncle Bob bristled and explained how the Trade Center would collapse if the structure was bombed. It performed the way it was designed and I'm still here.
@Joycevor I agree.The sky is something I can still see. If you’ve ever been to Vegas that’s what it looked like a Vegas blue sky.
@Joycevor U pulled up a few photos from Vegas.
@Joycevor *I the second photo mostly
@Joycevor Wow, that had to have been so absolutely horrific for you and the other survivors to have been there and endured.I cant even imagine!😭 I am so glad you are ok and still here with us. In all this time,you are the first survivor ive ever talked to.I just cannot imagine the horror there that survivors saw and heard.❤️
@Dawnz Thanks Dawnz. My story was the least dramatic of many of my friends, and I toned mine down a bit. It is a rough week for my old co-workers and many small towns in NY and NJ. Hopefully, someday, the history will be taught to kids in an appropriate way.
@Joycevor I hope so too! We can never forget that day,and we must teach those who werent alive yet or too young to have understood what happened.. This must never be allowed to happen again.I wasnt there but watched every second of this attack in total disbelief and horror.I dont think I ever prayed so hard for so many.I didnt know your name but im sure God did Ty for sharing your story, It gives me even more faith God DOES answer prayers 🙏 ❤️
@Joycevor Don't you get sick of all those people who questiion how the struture collapsed? Thank you for providing yet another piece of evidence that what happened really did happen.
@lolajl It drives me completely batshit! This is why I post my story. There was actually a very good documentary on PBS not long after the bombing that introduced the engineers and architects. It is a poignant view of how they felt watching their creation destroyed.
Thank you for sharing this most personal account. Sitting here stunned at all you went through.
@Joycevor i agree, New Yorkers' are direct and real and they have good quick reads on people. It is so dumb to me, how the world has been trained to see these qualities, as a negative.
@Joycevor i saw trump on the street a few times. He was always talking to regular people, and being a ham with a big ego. He had a quick read of people, and was kind of like a blue collar /meets salesman, but with heart and realism. He was picked on by the elite SOB's ...and i think he wants pay back with karma and irony.
@chip I moved to Floriduh 12 years ago. I say that jokingly. I love the climate, have great friends, but....the quick read and rapier wit is something you don't notice until it's gone. Fortunately a lot of my friends have joined me. I'm open to more transplants from my area, but leave the socialism up there.
My son's godfather had PTSD from WWII until the day he died many years later.
One of my investment friends at the time had over 40 funerals and memorials to attend after that...
May their souls find peace
Trauma doesn't go away. You just have to learn to deal with it.
I still carry baggage from 1983. I don't expect it'll ever go away.
Great thread, thank you for it.
Those who label words as violence do so with the sole purpose of justifying violence against words.