I continue to be mesmerized with empathy by the events of September 11, 2001. As I’m sitting here now watching the History Channel, I —
I had to pause for a minute, because they just showed footage of the second tower being hit, and the people inside an apartment started shouting and screaming, “oh my God! oh my God!” so I had to stop typing. Now the young lady is crying and afraid for her own life. She’s not even videotaping anymore, but you can hear her talking.
I’ve watched these specials every year since 2001, and it sure seems like it happened a whole lot less than 11 years ago. I am just as empathetic now as I was the year after it happened. NOTHING matches how I felt the actual year it happened, and I was about as far removed from the actual events as one could be.
Where was I during the events? At the gym, so I remember it was on a Tuesday. My routine was gym from 8 am to 10 am, and to be at work for 11:00. I hadn’t watched any television that morning, and had scoffed at the traffic on I-95 (which leads straight into New York) which made me late. There were neon lit signs that simply read, AVOID NEW YORK. With no explanation, I thought it was a stupid sign and said so, aloud. I was living in Baltimore, Maryland at the time, and had just spent a week in New York 2 months earlier.
I was at work for about three hours before anyone said anything to me about it. I HAD NO IDEA! It wasn’t until I got home and turned on the tube (about 8:00 that night) that I had a full scope of what really happened – in NY, PA and DC. I sat there with my jaw dropped in total disbelief in what these innocent people were going through because of the beliefs of a group of people. As an American, I felt that we were totally vulnerable. That our hospitality to the world had been taken for granted.
Anyway, before when I would see footage of the smoking towers, I would just see these tall structures, on fire with pieces of it flying around like paper.
Now what I really see when I watch the towers smoking are the people that are inside. I imagine the fear, confusion and chaos they must have felt. The desperate desire they must have had for rescuers to come and save them. I imagine the passengers who were on those planes being now inside that building, their precious selves already taken away from their families.
I see the few police vans and fire trucks speeding to a scene that far outweighs their capacity to handle. I see the people who got out of the building who were hurt. I see people going upstairs from a lower level in one of the towers to exit out, taking their time, not realizing the close brush with death that they have, and soon to be realized.
I’m going to stop now, and finish watching. I could go on and on. Things like this takes the pettiness out of me. Makes me focus more on what’s really important in life.
Thanks for reading