John Mc

This is a collection of my thoughts. Some of the thoughts that I once had, I no longer do. Some thoughts I have now I have never had. Yet none shal be discounted. This blog is soley for the enjoyment of the author and the readers. On occasion the views expressed are overly exagerated in order to prove a point. Also there may be a dirty word or thought in some of the posts. Grow up and take this for what it's worth - a blog that barely anyone will ever see.

9/11/2006

Today and Yesterday.

I majored in radio in college but, my friend Tim decided to go with a broader degree of "communications." He did, however, have a class in radio and asked for my help. So, I drove out there, we decided it was too late to get started. So, we watched some WWF on TV and went to "Molly's" (a local bar) for a little while. We made it, as we did most nights, a late night.
That is why we were aggravated when an early morning phone call woke us up. Tim answered the phone and his roommate groggily asked "Who was that?" I just started to go back to sleep. Tim said "It was my mom. She said to put on the TV."
Out of curiosity, I opened one eye. I saw a high-rise on fire. I opened the other one to find out that it was in New York and that a plane had hit the building. I was concerned for the people, but accidents happen, right? There was a fire in The Loop not long before that. Between conversation and listening to the TV, we tried to figure out what was going on.
Then we saw the other plane hit. I knew something was up. That was one hell of a coincidence. Who was behind it? How did it happen? No one seemed to know. Speculation riddled the newscasts pointing to several different sources and possibilities.
We began hoping and praying that everyone got out of the buildings without injury. Then we watched what we didn't expect to see - one of the buildings fell. Just like when they take down buildings in Vegas to make room for a new casino, but this time no one knew if there was anyone inside. The next one fell shortly after. We saw images of clouds of ash and debris racing down streets as people ran from them.
What we saw in a little more than an hour was unbelievable. I had never seen anything like this short of a movie. By lunch, I was convinced that our first priority should be to go after these bastards.
I drove home soon after that to go to church. I noticed how quiet everything was. No airplanes in the skies and barely anyone on the road. I didn't listen to the radio, because I had heard enough coverage at that point.
After work, I went home just in time to see the president's speech on the day's events. The next day, flags flew on porches in my neighborhood and from car windows. Each store front had one in their window. A Chicago newspaper printed a flag on a full page to give those who couldn't afford a flag something to put up in their windows.
It was a unique experience. To witness the greatest tragedy in the history of our nation live on television then to watch everyone in the country join together under the red, white and blue was amazing and saddening.
Soon, the flags came down. The congress was done singing together. The unity began to fade. Life on September 10th tried to come forth. Instead a war in Afghanistan, shoe checks at the airports and a color-coded warning system wouldn't allow that. Even music reminded us of the new world that we were living in.

A few years after September 11th I visited New York. One of the stops that I made sure that I made was at Ground Zero. I wasn't too sure what to expect. I had to get a ticket to enter the area. A maze was created by ropes and metal fences on the way to the plywood ramp and observation deck. All along the route were poems that were now runny with the rain. There were pictures of fallen police and firefighters. There were teddy bears that were worn from the elements. We paused by candles that had long burned down. Not an inch of the fence by the church was left vacant.
The build up to seeing Ground Zero was as emotional as seeing it. There were messages written in the plywood to those who lost their lives and to those who were still struggling with the loss. I didn't take a picture of Ground Zero. I didn't pull out the video camera. Instead I said a prayer, wrote my own message on the wood and walked down the ramp.
Just like September 11th, I will never forget that day. What had seemed distant while it occurred now was right before me.
I learned that there was a golden globe once sat proud in a fountain in between the two towers. It was rescued in tact from the wreckage and moved to a near-by park. I made my way over there to see it as well.
There was something symbolic about the globe surviving the events with only a few dings. It was changed, but still there. I crossed the ropes surrounding it to touch it.
I have never gone into my feelings on these days and probably never will.

Our world was changed five years ago. We have united behind a common purpose to never let this happen again. The methods in which we are hoping to accomplish this are up for debate. What I will never forget is the days and weeks after what happened to us that blue-skyed morning. The power and comfort found in the unity of Americans could be felt on every door step, street and high way. It was proudly displayed in every available aspect of our lives. We were kinder, more understanding and walked a little straighter.
I only hope on this anniversary that we see as many flags and as much pride as we saw that day.

2 Comments:

  • At 10:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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  • At 10:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree john. Seems like things went wrong somewhere doesnt it?

    From united to divided in less than 5 years.

    Heres to the future!!!

     

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