Friday, September 11, 2009

New York's State of Mind- September 11th,2001

Image from http://massfatality.dna.gov/
They say New York is the city that never sleeps..it is also the city that never gave up.
Sure we stood still for what seemed like days but was only hours.Yes, we shut down our airports, buses and trains.
We did things we have never EVER done ..like stand in horror and watch the signature of our city fall.
We cried tears we never thought we had in us, felt fear we never knew existed.
We saw death like we NEVER want to see again, and felt pain that will never heal right.
It's the day NY stood still.
It was also the day NYC came together..beyond the bright lights , fashion avenue, fame and international brew ha.All that didn't mean squat that day.
It's the day we opened doors to everyone, every limo, truck, cab and carriage carpooled and every five star hotel became free shelter.
Where food and water was free to anyone who needed it, and strangers became friends. Where working cell phone minutes become every one's bill to share to tell a loved one "I'm ok"
Where EVERY shoulder was there to cry on, and you were free to wipe each others tears. Where hugs were in abundance and religions united for protection and understanding.
Class, race, status, age, sex---What was that to a New Yorker that day??...you were a survivor, a helper, a prayer, a healer, a friend, a feeder, a human being who needed you.
I will never forget the day NY stood still..but its spirit was the strength that made her move again.
My 9/11 Experience.
I used to work for a temp agency located right across from the South Tower. I would pick up my paycheck every tuesday. On that Tuesday, September 11th I had a job interview in the borough on Queens, I was lucky.
That morning, I watched the first tower burning post impact as I was riding the #7 train across the 59th street bridge from mid-town Manhattan to Long Island City, Queens,..by the time the train pulled into the queens station, the second towers has been hit and NYC shut down.
I watched from the 59th street bridge as both towers fell, I watched the foot traffic from mid town pour into Long Island City, the street filled with anguish, screaming and fear as F-16's engines flew over the city...
That afternoon, there were restrictions to cross any inter-borough or suspension bridges out of fear the bridges were sabatoged. I took my chance and give my faith to God and crossed by foot,against the incoming flow and the eyes of watching police officers back into Manhattan ..knowing I could have been arrested, I took my chances.
I took off my 2.5 inch heels, got two bottles of water..called my mother to let her know I was ok.. She was hysterical..I took my courage from within me.
Despite the uncertainty , the unbelievable vulnerability I felt..I never gave in.
I took off my stockings and walked barefoot from 59th Street and Lexington Ave, crossed the 59th and the 138th street bridges to the Bronx. It took 5 hours,30 minutes and 56 seconds.
Why?? well, a mother's love knows no limits, a mother's strength knows no bounds. I had a daughter who was in school crying for me. I was going to get to her somehow.
I finally got to the bronx, with blistered feet, thighs badly chaffed, and throat sore in 90 degree heat....but by God I was ALIVE- with my daughter was in my arms and my mother at peace. I went upstairs, prayed for those lost till I cried myself to sleep.
I will never forget. Remember 9/11,
Ny

2 comments:

Patrice @ The Soap Seduction said...

I'll never forget either. The events of that day were so surreal. I was on vacation that week when my fiance woke me up and told me about the first plane crashing. I was like "Okay, I hope no one's hurt..." and went back to sleep. Not even 15 minutes later, he woke me up again to tell me about the 2nd crash: "WHAT??" There was also mad chaos here in DC with the Pentagon incident. That really freaked me out cuz I took that bridge to work every day, so I pass the Pentagon. To see the devastation hit so close to home really hit a nerve. I got mad love for ya'll NYC!

NinasCD said...

Thank you so much for this post. It was really getting discouraging seeing not much mention of today, 9/11, not even on Twitter, they have Jay Z and Vampire Diaries trending but not 911, it is like it has been forgotten. I really loved your story, your mention of working 5 hours in bare feet in the heat to get your daughter, any mother can feel your determination to do whatever it takes to get to your child.

I posted on 9/11 as well, hope you can stop by and take a look. http://ninascd.blogspot.com/ or if that does not work: http://ninascd.blogspot.com

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