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A Day I'd Like to Forget. Reflections on 9/11

Remembering 9/11

It's that time of year again.  Another year of 9/11 memorials and tributes. Newspapers, magazines and televisions will again be inundated with coverage of that horrific tragedy eleven years ago.  Truth be told, I make an effort not to watch any of it.  Even eleven years later, I still can't watch a movie about the terrorist attacks on the twin towers. I try my hardest to ignore 9/11.  In fact, I usually mark the day with a simple Facebook post to my old New York roommates.  "You're in my thoughts today."

During last year's decade anniversary, I shut off my computer, unplugged the television and tossed my smartphone. Instead of following the coverage, I marked the day by attending a local fair with my wife. I decided I needed a little Mayberry in my life.  Instead of watching coverage of the memorial,  I filled up on hot dogs and soda and toured booths selling hand made knick knacks that were destined for closets and future tag sales.  

It's not that I don't appreciate what happened.  Just the opposite. On September 11, 2001, both my sister and I worked in New York.  My sister Jennifer had an office at RCA records right in Times Square.  The night before the towers were struck, we had attended a rooftop fundraiser not far from the Twin Towers. I have pictures from the event with the gleaming behemoths towering behind us in the distance.  Who was to know that the next day they would be reduced to rubble.

I don't have any stories of missing planes or subway trains.  I didn't work in the Towers.  But like most Americans, the events of 9/11 had a profound impact on me.  Many "what ifs" crossed through my mind.  What if I stayed with a friend that night in the city?  What if I accepted that internship in the Twin Towers? What if I stayed at New York Law School instead of transferring to Pace?  I was a graduate of both Pace University and Manhattanville College.  Some of my friends and acquaintances lost their lives in the Towers.  Why was I so lucky?  

I will never forget that horrific day.  That cell phone call from my sister asking if I heard what was going on as firetruck after firetruck flew by her car to impending death.  I remember my roommate Pat coming home after I spent hours trying to contact him. He was covered from head to toe in dust.  His office was across the street from the Towers.  All the windows were blown out.  I remember watching the coverage with my roommate Nicole who managed to make it home earlier from Manhattan.  I couldn't help wondering how they dealt with the tragedy.  After all, they were there. I remember a phone call from my grandmother from Poland asking if I was OK.  I remember visiting a few days after the tragedy.  I found a once bustling metropolis had become a ghost town with soldiers and barricades standing guard at Grand Central Station.   I remember countless people searching for loved ones with seemingly thousands of photos pinned on walls.  "Have you seen my dad?"   "Searching for my wife.  Please call."

I will never forget 9/11, but sometimes I wish I could.  

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Robin Hood September 11, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Bill have you ever bothered to read the PDB? Did you know someone from the CIA finally flew to W's ranch to tell him in person and he was told " now you've covered your ass" ? It was a business deal gone awry, Bush Inc and Halliburton are entrenched in the ME and the cause of most of our problems, we could get our oil from Canada and S. America, we do not need the ME, they do, they do a lot of contract work there even with enemies like Iran, it's business, they do not care about anything else. If you think facts are political hate ads I am very sorry for you.
Bill September 11, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Ok Robin, you are now officially a 911 conspiracy theory wacko
Melissa Rossi September 12, 2012 at 01:14 AM
Thoughtful article, Adrian. Thanks for sharing.
Robin Hood September 12, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Those are facts, if you would to try and refute them be my guest, but calling me names is childish. But if you buy what they say happened you are a child.
Bill September 12, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Robin, just because you write it down doesn't make it a fact. Actually, everything you've written is completely unsubstantiated, so of course I can't "refute" them. Btw, don't you see the irony of someone going by the nom de plume of Robin Hood calling anyone else childish?

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