NEVER FORGET

After last night Mets game I was tempted to fire up my laptop and spew about last nights ugly win but I was kind of tired and said “ah, wait until tomorrow” I figured I’d read the paper on the Ferry and then read all the online articles and then go off on Aaron Heilman, Elijah Dukes and  Doug Eddings.

 

I get my paper and get ready for my trip across the bay and I’m trying to dwell on what today’s date is. I try to avoid the realization that the 7AM ferry is much more crowed than usual and that the extra passengers are cops and firemen in dress uniforms and many people who lost love ones seven years ago today at the World Trade Center. I dive into the game story by Adam Rubin and then Bill Madden making a case for Carlos Del-GOD-o for NL MVP and find the distraction I needed.

 

As I get off the ferry I make my way on my usual route up walking up Broadway towards my office on Worth St. Most days the walk is uneventful as it usually involves me listening to my iPod while eyeing the beautiful women of NYC but today each block was tougher and tougher to walk.

 

First thing I noticed is the amount of police on the street and the area closed off to traffic. Both John McCain and Barrack Obama will be here today so downtown is a frozen zone. As I get to Wall St, all the news truck from all the city TV stations and all the National cable stations are here to cover the events of the day. I start smiling as I envision this scene in late October as the vision and the weather have a fall feel to it like it is when a team wins a championship and they hold a ticker tape parade. But as I walk a couple of blocks to Liberty St my mood changed drastically.

 

I see a bunch of little kids no more than 7 to 10 or 11 years old and they are being interviewed by someone from FOX 5 News. As I look at these children I see that around their necks are pictures of people. As I slow down to observe the scene it hits me and hits me very hard, those pictures are of the parents they lost seven years ago today.

 

I felt sick. I stop for a moment when I get across the street and I had to compose myself for a moment.  I still can’t get the image out of my mind of these little kids with the pictures of their dads or moms close to their hearts and how from their young ages  probably don’t remember their lost parents. I mean I remember that day vividly as I was in Queens when the attack took place and my son was in the first grade and 7 years old and my daughter was just a toddler of 2 and how my wife had a doctors appointment that morning in Brooklyn and was in the doctors office when all hell broke loose. Then we waited for orders from our commissioner to see if he we going to go from and administrative staff to a response unit. We were told to stay at the agency headquarters to man the radio and phone. I got home that night at about 11 PM and as I walked up from Hylan Blvd to my house all I saw was my wife and two kids sitting on the front steps and my wife in tears happy I was home. My kids were really two small to know what was going on and I was grateful for that. All that just came over me as I saw those kids and I could feel their heartache of losing the parents they never got to know.

 

I waited awhile to get to my office as I guess being a macho asshole I didn’t want the guys I work with see me with red eyes but when I got upstairs the office was eerily quiet. No yelling, no usual ball breaking that we do every morning, no name calling just 15 guys sitting and remembering what happen seven years ago with a lot of red eyes.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for this Steve – it’s tough to put into words still, seven years later, what those moments were like, and our memories today of those who were lost. I used to work downtown too, and today was the first year I didn’t have to work there during this anniversary.

  2. I’m surprised you could put any of that into words… I remember being halfway across the country from NYC (in Wisconsin, where I currently live) driving to a job interview that morning, and how undone I was by the time I got out of the car from what I’d heard on the radio – not ready by any means for a job interview, since I was distracted by wondering how my sister and other relatives who worked near the WTC were (fortunately OK).

    Again, WOW…

  3. I had to go to Philly for work that day. I was in the city the night before at girlfriend’s, and left town about 8. While driving down the turnpike, there was a special report on the radio. I did not know if I should go back or keep going. I did not hear from her until that night, as cell service was impossible due to volume. What a relief it was to hear from her. Two days later while driving back, you could see the smoke billowing up from the Jersey Turnpike. That was my first live view, and my goodness, was that creepy. Then seeing people on the news with pics of loved ones, asking, almost begging, people if they had seen their loved ones. Having lost my dad at age 8, I felt and still feel sick for the kids who lost parents. God bless them all.

  4. You can bet this guy will never forget the murder of 3000 people.

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