Friday, September 11, 2009

My 300th post - 8 year anniversary of 9/11/2001

"Our nation, this generation, will lift the dark threat of violence from our people and our future. We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter and we will not fail."

~George Bush 09/20/2001

Totally unplanned but coincidentally this is my 300th blog post. How appropriate to have a special post for the occasion.

My friend kot1k of the Spladdle forum posted this earlier today:

09-11-2009, 10:40 AM


"It’s pretty crazy in downtown Manhattan right now. There’s a massive concentration of cops, firefighters and news vans. Everybody is converging on the WTC site. The usual memorials are going on, all the streets are blocked off, and there are tons of cops checking bags in the subway. All this is going on but it doesn’t really feel like anybody remembers what they felt like 8 years ago. People obviously remember what happened, but the feeling is pretty much drowned in time. Didn’t really want to post this, but here’s my story from 8 years ago (Massive FRAT):

I was working at 222 Broadway. It was my first day in a new group so I wanted to get in earlier. I got on the Q (It was still the express back then) on the Sheepshead Bay stop. The trains were running like shit, so they kicked us off at Prospect Park stop and made us wait for the next train. Finally, a bit later than I wanted to, I got out of the train (I think I switched to the N at DeKalb, can’t remember anymore) at Courtland Street. Didn’t even bother to look at the towers to my left, made a right by the Marriot, and got my ass to my building.

My new bosses were smoking by the entrance. I shot the shit with them for a few minutes and made my way up. I was on the 9th floor, with my back to the windows facing WTC. I booted up my comp and as I was loading Outlook I FELT a massive explosion. The windows shook, as did the building. I ran to the window and saw a bunch of debris floating through the air and birds flying in crazy patterns. I looked down, and didn’t see anything (I initially thought that it was a car bomb again). I crouched by my window and looked up, and that’s when I saw the giant gaping hole in one of the towers, with flames coming out of it. I sat there for a few minutes, and went back to my desk. The TVs were all on CNBC or CNN and they already found footage and started playing it. I went back to the window and sat there staring at the towers.

As I sat there I saw a plane coming, but in my mind I thought that I was still watching TV and that was a replay. I was shaken out of my delusion by the second explosion. That’s when the total realization of how fucked this was sank in. I sat there for a few minutes looking, until I saw a few people falling or jumping from the towers. I can’t remember what I felt, but I got up and started trying to get in touch with family and friends who worked near by.

My parents were on vacation in France, so there was no way to reach them. My grandma who I was living with at the time was working the Primary Election for NYC, so she wasn’t home either. I left a voicemail on the answering machine saying I was leaving the building and I would be home soon. I tried to call a few friends, but by that time most lines were overwhelmed, so it was next to impossible to reach anybody.

A good friend was starting her second year in Med School in Israel and was supposed to fly out that day. That wasn’t happening, so she was home and I managed to reach her. We were on the phone while she was watching the news. It was a live feed, but had a few seconds delay. I felt what I thought was an earthquake, and saw the first tower collapsing. I yelled into the phone, “they’re falling” before dropping the receiver and jumping over my cube to get into the stairwell. The whole building was shaking. Everyone went into the lobby and waited around, but no one had any idea of what to do. You couldn’t go outside, since the whole street was filled with smoke and dust. It was a very strange feeling of helplessness. Just as that was happening, we felt another earthquake. It was the second tower collapsing.

The whole mass of people lost it and panicked. People began screaming and scattering with no real place to go. Somehow I ended up in a second level sub basement with about 10 other people. We sat on the floor and just waited. For what, I have no idea. After about 45 minutes a cop in a facemask came downstairs to tell us to stay put. In another 45 minutes the room started filling with smoke and dust because the filtration system was overwhelmed. Some of the women started crying and got panicky again. I decided that it’s probably safe to leave. We had a few water bottles with us, so I took off my shirt (I had an undershirt on), soaked it with water, and wrapped it around my face. I suggested to the people in the room that they should probably come with me, and about 6 women came along. I took my little procession out of the building.

The air was bad, but not terrible. There was about a half an inch of dust on the ground though. I hate to think what was in that dust. We walked away from WTC towards the bridges. Much of the smoke was blowing towards the Brooklyn Bridge, so I decided that it would probably be best to walk towards the Manhattan Bridge in Chinatown. I separated from my companions a few blocks away when I was pretty sure they were OK and out of danger.

I crossed the bridge with a million other people. There were no cars. In the middle of the bridge a couple of fighter jets came overhead and a thousand people hit the deck.

The rest of the story is pretty mundane. I walked for a few hours to get home. I got together with ALL of my friends later that night. I’m still shocked that I didn’t know anyone who was killed personally. The weird conclusions from that day were that I felt no fear. None. Maybe I was in shock, but I had very little emotions throughout the day and the days after. The only real fear I felt was when I got on a plane two weeks later and there was a small Muslim dude wearing religious garb. The entire flight was looking at his the whole trip, ready to pounce and kill his ass even if he so much as moved.

So that’s it. Don’t know what else to say…"

kot's story makes my story (click here)look like a walk in the park. I would've been p!ssing in my pants if I was stuck in a room not knowing what was going outside for more than 30 minutes.



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Stickgrappler's Sojourn of Septillion Steps