Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Comprehensive 9/11 Post

Have you seen the Copy/Paste Facebook status about how Mayor Bloomberg of NYC failed to invite first responders to the 9/11 ceremony/memorial unveiling? I know that's definitely sad. On the other hand after seeing Mayor Bloomberg on The View earlier this week I learned why this was the case: Fire and occupancy regulations. There are only so many people allowed on the plaza at one time and the families of those who died were invited. So yes, I agree it's craptastic that the first responders were not invited but it would have been equally as craptastic if the families weren't invited. So, honestly I sympathize with Mayor Bloomberg having to make that choice. It had to be difficult. 
So, ten years ago was 2001 (obv.) but I was 16 and in high school. I don't remember what class I was in, because I don't remember much of anything from high school... Anyway there I was and my sister came into my class with this look on her face like something very very bad was happening. The last time this happened she came to pull me out of band class in middle school because my grandfather had passed away... so I immediately jumped to something along those same lines. Nope. She said that there was an attack happening in New York and Washington DC. It was awful. I learned later what had actually happened. I watched the video of the planes crashing into the buildings for days. It was horrifying.

I didn't know 10 years ago those events would come to shape my life. I didn't know 10 years ago that I'd be married to a soldier. Nor did I know 10 years ago that I would be missing my husband while he's off fighting the subsequent wars of that day. 

Today I watched the stories of four soldiers; four warriors on, Portraits of Resilience, along with many other stories. I was most struck by Richard Fern. He worked on the 84th floor of the South Tower. Richard Fern fought to make his way out of the towers. Richard Fern walked from lower Manhattan to his wife's Cousin in Brooklyn.

Then there was Jimmy Riches. Jimmy Riches was a firefighter in Lower Manhattan. He was the oldest son of Jim Riches, Retired Firefighter of Brooklyn and he was 29 on Sept 11th. Jimmy Riches would turn 30 on Sept 12th, 2001. Jim Riches made his way from his home in Brooklyn to Ground Zero and did what he could to help, and as the day went on he came to accept that his oldest son was dead. Jim Riches tells his story here. Jim Riches spent every day at Ground Zero, which eventually lead to a coma in 2005 and almost death. Jimmy was the oldest of his brothers, Timmy Riches, Danny Riches, Tommy Riches. This families story is heartbreaking and motivational all at the same time. I found myself crying as I listened to each of them tell how they carried Jimmy's body up the ramp on March 25, 2002.

Have you visited Ground Zero since 9/11? I've been twice. The first time in December of 2002. I remember walking through the city and watching other people stop dead in their tracks as a plane flew overhead. It was stunning to see that response and the fear in these peoples faces.

1 comment:

Reccewife said...

I saw that first responder thing on facebook and I truely wanted to say something about how it was really for good reasons and maybe we shouldn't jump at it... but I was sure I'd just look like a terrible person. I'm glad I wasen't alone in my thinking!
Enjoy R&R!