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Old 09-10-2019, 07:21 PM
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Everything Changed - a 9/11 Narrative.


Tomorrow will be another sad and angry anniversary.

Please read this. Not because I lived it. But because people died horrible deaths. Because time has passed and nobody should ever forget. I know I won't.

I can still smell it.

Everything Changed
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:37 PM
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I have been alive now in a post-9/11 world for longer than I was alive in a pre-9/11 world. Honestly, what struck me most last night (or I guess technically early this morning) on rewatching the first two hours of ABC's then-live coverage of events as they unfolded is that Iím not sure I could ever imagine anything ever being different. I can no more imagine a world without 9/11 than I can without the moon landing, the Kennedy assassinations, or WWII, all of which occurred before I was born. In a sense, that puts 9/11/01, at least in my mind sitting here 18 years on, as about as far from "everything changed" as I think I can get.

The world was always thus, and always thus will be.
-Keating
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:41 PM
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I was around then, but must have missed in during my media blackout. Thanks for what you did. How are you these days?
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:22 PM
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I had the day off and woke up late. I remember seeing a huge plume of smoke and thinking it was a bad apartment fire in Adams Morgan. It was the Pentagon, all the way in Virginia.

An old friend of mine was not only a first responder, but was one of THE first responders. He was on the first fire truck that made it to the Pentagon. It was his first day as an Arlington County firefighter. His crew saw the plane flying low while assisting paramedics on another call.

Weird that a massive attack on the Pentagon was basically page 4 news.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balthisar View Post
I was around then, but must have missed in during my media blackout. Thanks for what you did. How are you these days?
Thank you for asking. Basically just fine. Fair to say that after 18 years the PTSD only triggers if I see video of the event. I try not to.

Despite my red- lettered post in The Pit, I'm not fulminating with rage. I am still angry at the loss of life- which pales next to the tens of thousands of civilians killed in the Middle East because of a misguided war.

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Old 09-11-2019, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Borgia View Post
I had the day off and woke up late. I remember seeing a huge plume of smoke and thinking it was a bad apartment fire in Adams Morgan. It was the Pentagon, all the way in Virginia.



An old friend of mine was not only a first responder, but was one of THE first responders. He was on the first fire truck that made it to the Pentagon. It was his first day as an Arlington County firefighter. His crew saw the plane flying low while assisting paramedics on another call.



Weird that a massive attack on the Pentagon was basically page 4 news.
That has always appalled me.
There is no excuse.
" But...NY is the media center of the world " is a poor excuse.

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Old 09-11-2019, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Cartooniverse View Post
That has always appalled me.
There is no excuse.
" But...NY is the media center of the world " is a poor excuse.

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Eh, the Towers were a far more devastating blow, with casualties an order of magnitude greater than the Pentagon, including all the firefighters who died when the buildings collapsed. The towers were completely destroyed, while the Pentagon was up and running in a relatively short period of time. And DC is not much behind NY in terms of having a lot of national media here.

I think it's understandable that the Pentagon attack got drowned out by the NY attack. It'j just strange, 'cause if had happened on its own, it would have gotten a lot more attention, than "Oh, Yeah, there was an attack on the Pentagon too."
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Old 09-11-2019, 06:26 PM
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Agreed.
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:56 PM
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For me, it was one of the few times I recognized that my mind refused to process what my eyes were seeing.

I heard on the radio that the first plane hit, so I turned off the radio and turned on the TV at my desk at work. I'm watching with a couple of co-workers, thinking it must have been a plane malfunction or something.

Then I saw the second plane come around. I could see it was a jet, but I remember thinking, and quite clearly, "police helicopter," because who else but a police helicopter would fly that close to a burning building?

Then it hit and my co-worker said, "Did that just happen?" That's when I started calling my friends and co-workers up in New York. Everyone was okay, thank God.

The plume of the smoke as the buildings collapse fascinates me. I don't know how to describe it...horrifying beautiful? Awesome in a destructive hideous way? It was such a clear blue sky of a day, and the way the smoke just billows up and out like it had a mind of its own was incredible. I don't mean that I enjoyed it. I felt very small and helpless and the smoke was a force of nature, like a tidal wave, that is mesmerizing to watch. I'm sorry if that came across as insensitive...I don't know how to describe it.

Last edited by ivylass; 09-13-2019 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 09-13-2019, 07:55 PM
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Oh yes, ivylass, that smoke cloud. I remember back then a video clip of someone running into a cafe. They are being "pursued" by the cloud. The storefront is fairly narrow and their video shows them running to the back wall, then turning around to face the street front. It's bright and sunny, and the the cloud passes, like the fog in a horror movie, and things get darker.
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Old 09-13-2019, 08:00 PM
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It doesn't come across as insensitive. It comes across as honest.

I watched for a few minutes. On the north side of Houston street, where Norfolk hits it.

The sky was SO blue that morning. The smoke was horrifying. But the smoke was nothing. I stood cheek to jowl in a tight crowd. We were all smooshed together because we could see the towers between closer buildings.

And we stood. And watched these little black dots fall from the floors above the fires. Those who didn't realize asked, and in the most painful of whispers, people said, " They're jumping. "

The entire experience was beyond normal response.

On the morning of September 12th, I got back to the Piers to the MASH we'd set up. No patients, aside from Firefighters who were getting hurt- some very badly, a bunch of amputations from shifting immense hunks of metal or concrete - and were sent to us instead of St. Vincent's or elsewhere. I was tasked, along with a few others, to walk down to the makeshift control area at the edge of the Hot Zone. ( "Ground Zero" came later ). We walked down. Were told to walk to South Ferry, to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. They were doing first aid and resuscitation for the south side of the site out of there.

So we started walking. And I trudged through damp gray drifts. Thick in places, higher than my sneakers. And as I walked, and looked at the fires still actively burning all over where the buildings had been, I knew inside that this was what I was walking through:

Hopes
Dreams
Sheetrock
Blood
Terror
Water
Sewage/ toilet chemicals
Shit
Brains
Paper
Chairs
Unborn Children
Disbelief
Piss
Railings
Glass
Half-burned photographs. ( thousands of them. everywhere. )
Life

When I got back to my car, and loaded up my cases of camera gear and unlocked the car, I sat down. And pulled off my flight suit and turned it inside out. I knew it was made to be badly soiled and could be successfully washed clean.

I pushed my sneakers off of my feet and turned into the driver's seat and drove away.

What I walked through, what was ground into my soles, were souls.

Nothing, nothing could ever wash that away.
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Old 09-13-2019, 08:36 PM
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You did amazing work that day. Thank you for sharing your story.
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