Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Yorkers are Remarkable People

As usual about that time in the morning, I was talking to my mother on the phone when we both stopped in disbelief at what was happening on TV. At first we all thought it a terrible air accident. When the second plane seemingly tried to fly between the two towers and crashed into the second tower, we screamed "why would a pilot try to do that!" Still in our safe American cocoon, it never occurred to us that it could possibly be deliberate. Then the Pentagon and Pittsburgh and reports of hijacked planes made it clear that our safe little world was under attack.
I'll never ever forget my mom's voice when the first tower fell. "Oh Jackie..Oh Jackie."
Monica called me from work, which is very rare because she can't usually call from the classroom. She said she was taking the streets home instead of the Ike expressway because the sight and closeness to the Sears Tower scared her now. I couldn't wait for her to get home safe where I could see her.

My 26 year old nephew, Nolen, called me in tears. He was 26 and I had never heard him cry as an adult. He wanted to do something. He said he had to do something. He got busy and we designed a tee shirt and he put up a website with all profits going to the Red Cross. 911 Rescue Team U.S.A. was on the shirt. Buying and wearing the shirt makes us all a part of the rescue team. It was sanctioned by the Red Cross and given an official charitable number for the contributions. Nolen's effort was noted in an article in a Chicago newspaper. I still wear mine on the anniversary every year. It still helps to feel and know that I was part of the rescue team. I thank Nolen for helping so many people, do something. It helped. He is a remarkable man.

New Yorkers are remarkable people. We all felt vulnerable, scared and every other emotion possible during that tragic time. But New Yorkers took that hit in their hearts and their guts and in their everyday. They had to smell and taste and feel and live the grit that was September 11, 2001.
All I can say is, New Yorkers are remarkable people. I love you New York City.

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