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alwaysakid’s Blog Posts 1 – 5 of 76
Remembering the NYC attack
Sep 11, 2011 | Views: 272
I thought I'd take this opportunity to share some of my son's thoughts after standing guard over the site of the Twin Towers in NYC shortly after the attacks. He was activated as a member of the National Guard to beef up security at NYC. After serving a couple months and then being released, he sent an email to all his family and friends about the experience, as he knew everyone was wondering what it was like for him. Here is some of what he said:
"As I was standing there, a woman approached the police barrier to view what she could see. As I looked at her, she had a very lost look on her face, like she was trying to figure out what everyone was looking at. She seemed lost as to what had happened here. I could see a pain in her eyes, confusion, someone looking for resolution. Then she looked at me. This took me aback, because at that moment her facial expression changed. She came here to see what had happened, and now that she knew, her eyes asked me what I was going to do about it. It was like she was pleading with me, to bring back all the people, to single-handedly raise the towers back into existence. I didn't have to see my own facial expression to know that my face said despair. No matter what I did, or how much I helped with the effort, it would not make one damn bit of difference to the people that were already gone. Then the woman turned and walked away, and I was relieved to find myself alone again, but more alone than I had been before.
After a few hours, I was relieved to go to the church that the Red Cross had set up for rescue workers and soldiers. I walked down the street to the church, seeing store windows broken from debris, and dust that had not yet been cleaned up. Most of the streets had been cleaned, but a few stores had not been visited by their owners. It looked as if it had snowed inside the shops.
Another strong sense that was ever present the time we were there was the smell. After a month of the actual attack, the odor carried for blocks still. You could not get away from it.
I reached the church and ran quickly inside. It was very cold and when you stand out in the cold all night, it doesn't help much. The church was wonderful. It was so quiet. Rescue workers were sleeping in the balconies upstairs, and random bodies were seen to be dosing off in the pews. I sat down in one of the pews, and I couldn't seem to get warm. I said a prayer, and sat up so I wouldn't fall asleep. There were other guys standing out in the cold that I still needed to relieve. I turned around, and in the row behind me was a mother holding her daughter close to her, glad to still have her family, and sad because others had lost theirs. She seemed to hold her tightly, as if she was afraid to let her go because she might not be there for her tomorrow. I can understand how precious life is, especially for those who are shown how quickly it can be taken away. I found myself missing my family very much at that moment. I had to turn away to keep myself from weeping, but it did no good, as I wept anyway. I gathered myself after a few minutes, and went back into the cold."
May we never forget.
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