September 11th, Fourteen Years Hence

I feel a tremendous need to commemorate this day unlike many who wish to forget it.  And it’s not as if I don’t understand why…I do.  It was a God awful day, especially for a New Yorker.

Our country changed that morning never to be the same.  It was viciously attacked for its prevalent goodness by people who we would have gladly sat with to help harness their own.  But sadly, that wasn’t their choice.

I find myself downtown often still feeling the tremors.  I look at the Freedom Tower that frankly, does nothing for me.  A very unattractive structure built over as far as I’m concerned, a very lavish cemetery.

I felt it should have been a simple memorial to those who perished that Tuesday, not a tourist site for those who watched it on television.

For the longest time I couldn’t read about it even though my library has a vast collection of books.  The first one I read was 103 Minutes that left me panting for breath…the length of time it took for both towers to fall.  I then followed with ten others with such detail much of which I didn’t need to know.

What was interesting…all the stories were the same.

Watching couples jump out of windows holding hands in suits and pretty dresses.  The police and firemen who went in and never came back out.  Moira Kelly, the lady cop who wasn’t even on duty that day who ran down to help and was seen no more.

I knew an actor and former firefighter who also out of a sense of duty ran there and never emerged.  The tales of valor consume you as you read one testimony after another in a way, grateful, you haven’t one of your own.

I was safely uptown watching the smoke blanket the atmosphere.  I, along with countless others out of acute helplessness, went to give blood…blood no one would need.

I feel this day like a war wound when it rains.

And that’s the way it should be, forever and ever.  images-1



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in History, media, New York City, Politics, readng, war, words, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to September 11th, Fourteen Years Hence

  1. There are day’s that go beyond what is truly painful, no matter how we see them in their aftermath. Death of a loved one, whether by tragic accident, or terminal diagnosis always hurts. But, death by a willful act of murder (mass or otherwise) is by far the worst pain of all. The uncalled for mass destruction of innocent lives (horrifically perpetrated) can never be justified. Not by the use of revenge, especially taking the lives of those not guilty of any act against the aggressor. Nor by labeling it as a political statement that had to be made. Not even claiming that it was an act of madness by one, or many angry individuals. No… murder will always be what murder is… murder. An expensive, cowardly exhibition of reckless and wanton disregard for life so precious. It is also, sadly wasteful, particularly so when it involves a country—any country. It savages a nations psyche, not to mention the memories of those who have loved and lost. And whatever individual, group, or madman who decides to ever commit such an act against another, can never be truly regarded as nothing more than a hateful, and self absorbed, vengeful lower life form, not worthy of anything less than extermination. What occurred on 9/11 will never be seen by humanity as anything but, inhuman…and those who committed it, much, much lower than any animal who has ever walked the earth. If those murderers truly believed in their own act of violence as being the only redeemer of some greater evil perpetrated on them, or someone they love or loved, then their own self proclaimed god would have had no choice but to abandon them for such a hateful, and personal act of violence. They will have ceased to be a part of what is universally accepted as the human race. If they were ever responsible for such a heinous act, then in the end their own death would erase the memory of any good they might have ever done. On the other hand, the evil act they committed can never be undone or erased from the memory of those who suffered the loss. Forgiveness by a god, any god, for such a willful and deliberate act of destruction of human life, could not be possible, except perhaps by a hateful devil of their own making. For a God, anyone’s god is his own instrument for life and death, for none of us birthed ourselves. A God, yours, mine or someone else’s, requires no help from you or I to achieve those kind of outcomes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Stirring and beautifully penned and I’m glad you expressed yourself so freely, emphasis on free. Even now, its hard to wrap my brain around what occurred that day. On occasion I’ll stroll through St Paul’s that served as a triage for the rescue workers who has a perpetual memorial on one of its walls. Then you come back out to gaze upon the Freedom Tower rising defiantly before you and its hard to envision the devastation 11 years ago today. Thanks for writing. Contributed highly to the piece. Susannah


  2. skinnyuz2b says:

    It is pure anguish when I think of the evil unleashed on this day. It was met with so many selfless acts, including those brave souls that prevented their plane from crashing into the capital.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I still don’t know if that devastation accomplished anything for those doing it. I don’t think I understand how those minds work.


  4. MJ says:

    Except for a stint in England during the 1970’s, I’ve spent my entire life with the NYC skyline on my horizon. The Twin Towers were such an integral part of that, I can’t look at it now without wincing.
    Many a family dinner table conversation had revolved around the rise of the WTC, as my father, who’d worked for Otis Elevator, was so excited by the specs for the elevators and escalators that crossed his desk. I’m glad he didn’t live to see 9/11.
    For many years I taught Drawing 101 from a studio with a commanding view of Manhattan. On a clear day you could see all the way from the GW Bridge to the Statue of Liberty. It was a great vantage point for teaching Aerial Perspective, especially at the beginning of the Fall semester, and I would wax glib about the changes in the landscape—how the Jersey Turnpike had sliced off half of Snake Hill like a loaf of bread, blah, blah, blah. I’d say “Check out what it used to look like in the paintings of the Hudson River School”, and “Capture what’s there now, before those landfills rise and block the view…you’re really drawing history”. Never could I ever have imagined how soon and how cruelly that landscape would change. I’m glad I wasn’t there in 2001, but I did see the second Tower fall.
    I was in a traffic jam along the bluffs on the western side of the Meadowlands, which roll up to that iconic architecture like a shag carpet. It’s impossible to look away, and I could only think of my cousin, who worked in the WTC. Before I even thought to call her myself, my cell phone rang. It her sister in Denver, calling to find out if I were OK, and quickly adding that my cousin who worked at the WTC was safe. She’d been saved by the fact that her birthday was September 11, and a colleague had treated her to Starbucks in Hoboken. As a result she’d taken a later ferry, so instead of being at her desk, she was crossing the Hudson when her building fell. It was the first of several calls that day, and fortunately for me, the commuters I know made it home, But many on this side of the Hudson did not. 30% killed in the attack were New Jerseyans.


    • The part about your cousin made my heart thump. I knew a guy stuck in traffic, another whose back suddenly went out and stayed home. I find the aloofness so prevalent towards the day mystifying MJ. I realize 14 years is a long lapse between now and a tragedy, but come on. We need to give the day it’s due.


  5. 14 years later we are more divided as a nation and greed is running the show. Business as usual is right.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. MJ says:

    It’s an eerie anniversary for me, Susannah, rife with memories…my father, my cousins, all those skylines in charcoal and my own glib prophecy come back to haunt me. My cousin in Denver, who cared enough to see if I were OK, died—so young—the following year. I also remember the relentless surliness of the two Middle Eastern men who worked the newsstand at Penn Station in Newark—how they’d glare at at customers, then pointedly ignore them while they went about slicing open boxes. No smile or pleasant comment ever had any effect on them–I tried, as I’m sure others did. I was shocked, but not surprised, by the news that they were co-horts of the hijackers, and had been caught with a cache of boxcutters fleeing to Texas.


    • I remember that. The newsstand men. Sorry about your cousin. I remember two old boyfriends from Connecticut were the only ones who called to see if I was alright.

      It was a very odd, surreal day for all of us.


  7. I nearly missed noticing the day this year. The stroke simply causes me to forget so much. However, I was reminded and I remembered: I remembered being in my workplace in Indiana, so far away and yet so very near. I remember tears welling up in my eyes once I knew what had happened and I remember everyone having to stop working and all watching the small tv that had been brought in by someone.
    The other thing I really remember is that many of us, even there in Indiana, knew someone who had been deeply affected by those events: someone whose relative was lost or who could not be found for several days and the ensuing worry and fear.
    I know what the terrorists tried to do that day. It did not work. Instead of being frightened so much by what happened, so many are now ready and willing to try and handle a repeat of the event. It was horrible; I will never say it was good for us. However, it did have some results which can be viewed as positive. “What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.” Yes, so many died, but the rest of us…I think we learned.


  8. micklively says:

    I can’t agree with “prevalent goodness”. That wasn’t the reason. Watch “Bitter Lake” if you want a more objective assessment of the heinous crime visited upon New Yorkers and others that day.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.