God Bless America

I warn you, this is not one of my slaphappy posts.

I’m here, stunned into silence after going to the 9/11 Museum downtown.

A friend asked, what possessed me?

Well, I always wanted to go since, being a survivor of that hellish day, felt I owed it to the fallen.

I’ll begin by saying,  it wasn’t like a trip to see the Monets at the Met when you come out charmed and lighthearted.

After spending two hours, I sat outside where the towers once stood, and cried.

The museum itself is huge, with a timeline starting right before the first plane hit,  reminding you what a beautiful day it was before it began its devastating decline.

To say I was moved, by what I saw, puts it mildly.  Mangled fire engines, a burnt out ambulance…twisted remnants of the towers themselves that look like Richard Serra sculptures.  Slabs of concrete, coiled wire…and personal effects like an engagement ring and credit cards, shoes and a wristwatch still dated, 9/11.

Footage of funerals, firefighters and policemen from all over who came to pay their respects while Taps plays in the distance.

Two things really affected me.  One was an audio of the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93, that went down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania of those who called their loved ones to insure a last good-bye.  They warn you before it begins…that the information might be upsetting.

Might be?

Yet, along with six others sat and listened, grateful, probably for the first time ever, I couldn’t hear very well, rather reading what was said.

A flight attendant calling her husband to say, I love you sweetie…tell the kids I love them.  Tell my family.  Don’t worry, I’m comfortable, at least for now.

Todd Beamer, who orchestrated the take-over…the Let’s Roll man, called his wife, and if it weren’t for him and the heroes he recruited, that plane would have hit either the White House or the Capitol.  The hijackers, not realizing they could be heard on tape, spoke in Arabic, holding out as long as they could knowing if these men got inside the cockpit, their plans would be felled, so they crashed in Pennsylvania, killing all on board.

The last thing one said was…Allah is the greatest.

Throws you, doesn’t it, how they give Allah such a bad name because, guaranteed he’s up there screaming…NO NO..THIS HATRED IS NOT WHAT I INTENDED.

 The second remembrance that had me on my knees was…

In Memoriam…the room with photos of all, listed alphabetically, who perished that day, simply placed on four walls.  I stood, reading each name, looking tenderly, at each face.  What shocked me were children that must of been traveling by plane.  We forget, there was an array of people going home…families…never suspecting they’d never get there.

As I made my way around the room, slowly but determined to honor each soul, a lady was quietly weeping.

“I approached her and said, “Did you lose somebody ma’am?  Is that why you’re so upset?”

“Everybody. We lost everybody?”

I didn’t pry or ask what she meant. Was she one of the few people from Cantor Fitzgerald, who out of a 1000 workers, mostly those not working that day, survived?  Was it a collective…we lost everybody…the way I felt as I read each name?

I put my arms around her and said, it was good we came…it’s important to remember the 2,983 people who died that day, including the 6 from the attack in 1993.

She nodded, holding my hand, then quietly wept some more.    

SB

 

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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 Amazon.com. Thanks.
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34 Responses to God Bless America

  1. micklively says:

    Remembering is good. But remembering is not enough. We need to learn and change our ways. Else the next 9/11 is inevitable.

    Like

    • I hear you. The survivors do what they can though, like erecting this museum. I don’t expect this essay to be wildly read. It’s a tough topic for most. I just know I had to write it. Sigh

      Liked by 1 person

      • micklively says:

        I understand. You would need to be very hard-hearted indeed, to be unmoved by those levels of shock and distress. The good folk of New York didn’t deserve it.
        Just imagine how the good folk of Syria feel: they’ve had 9/11 every day for the last five years.

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      • Their plight does not remotely diminish ours. I have great empathy for everyone but I was here. I’ve been seriously affected Rob, so it’s not about Syria for me. And I know I speak for others.

        Liked by 1 person

      • micklively says:

        Yes, of course. And it’s so easy for me, who wasn’t in New York or Syria, to sit and pontificate. My only motivation is to find an end to the bloodshed. At present, I see little chance of any change for the better. And, even though the chances of a terrorist outrage or alien orchestrated civil war in Lincoln, are pretty remote, I am a part of this. Maybe, just maybe, if more folk felt that way, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

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  2. I live in NYC and hadn’t really planned on going there, but a friend came to town and asked……I don’t think I can talk about my experience yet. bravo to you for being able to discuss it.

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  3. Gail Kaufman says:

    I passed by the museum and went to One World Observatory instead. I had heard the museum was painfully sad and your post confirms this. Standing at the reflecting pools was sad enough. Seeing the photos posted at the pre-construction site made me cry. But I should go. They deserve that honor.

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  4. Hal says:

    Very touching! Such a sad day for America,
    I will never forget.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. gmg says:

    I cried when I read this.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I wept, also, while reading this post. It was good of you to write it so that lots of us who won’t go to the museum could experience it with you. I’ve seen the reflecting pools, and even they can be powerfully moving.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes, I wept reading this too. I remember it. I wasn’t in NY but I was close enough. There were people I knew who worked there. So sad. Numbing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, you knew more than one person? I’m humbled, really.

      Liked by 1 person

      • No one I knew was killed about there were some in my community who were. I had lived in a northern Jersey town where everyone worked in NYC or Newark. My former next door neighbor worked as a stock broker in the Twin Towers. It took me a couple of weeks to find out if he was ok. I had moved away several years before it happened.

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      • I had one of those. A neighbor whose wife I saw panicked that morning when she couldn’t find their daughter who worked in one of the towers. Her husband ran down to find her. For months I didn’t see either one thinking uh-oh, but then one day there they were. I remember being so happy to see them.

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  8. We went but did not go inside. Sounds like we made the right call since we were in NYC celebrating an anniversary, and it wouldn’t have been good timing. Maybe this Fall.
    I was so taken back by tourists taking fun photos outside at the fountains … just didn’t seem right.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Inside there were so many people that appeared unaffected, but who am I to judge. Then we had that woman who fell apart so, you get a panoply of people emotions galore. It was tough, but also exhilarating in a way, if that makes sense.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I remember seeing the television at work, stopping and staring, thinking what a horrible accident and how did that plane get over such a crowded area? Then, the second plane and now, no doubt, knew it was planned….the rest of the work day was a stunned thing. I remember standing at the TV watching and not moving for quite a long time, not being told to get back to work. I didn’t lose anyone close that day, but I knew people who knew people. It affected us all…can we say 3 connections or less?
    Scott

    Liked by 1 person

  10. skinnyuz2b says:

    Thank you for a very poignant post. Like so many of your other readers, I also had tears while reading, which shows how powerful your post is.

    Like

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