Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I can appreciate everyone taking it upon themselves to bestow balmy platitudes of "Never Forget" on the anniversary of 9/11. I even understand the ubiquitous sticker on many a truck window telling me to do the same.  I however, do not need to be reminded of this. Not now. Not ever.

There are those, like me, who were living in New York city on the day of September 11th, 2001, who would really like to forget, but are completely unable to.

I would like to forget seeing the second jet smash into tower 2 on TV as I got ready for work that morning.

I would like to forget seeing the desperate souls in both those buildings hanging out windows trying to save themselves from immolation and jumping from 50 plus stories.

I would like to forget hearing the loud thuds of bodies hitting lobby roofs and cars as news crews broadcasted live from the scene.

I would like to forget the snow-like flutter of millions of sheets of xerox paper as it belched from the holes of the towers.

I would like to forget seeing the huge black plumes of smoke emanating from lower Manhattan as I watched jets on maneuvers from my roof top.

I would like to forget seeing all of lower manhattan covered in thick clouds of dust and pulverized computer consoles as the buildings collapsed.

I would like to forget the horrible rancid smell of electric, burnt plastic, and barbecue that hung in the air for days after as the ruins of the towers smoldered.

I would like to forget watching outside my window as hundreds of people walked uptown in a zombie-like daze as they dealt with the city's transportation system shut down.

I would like to forget seeing the blocks-long line of people futilely queued up for days across the street at the Lexington Avenue Armory registering their missing loved ones in vain.

I would like to forget the thousands of "missing" signs that papered the walls and windows in my neighborhood for weeks, until finally a rain came and washed away the thin hopes of all who lost loved ones.

I would like to forget thinking and worrying about my friend Sam, his wife, son, and newborn daughter who lived in an apartment next to the towers.

I would like to forget his heart wrenching tale as he made his way downtown desperately trying to see if his family was safe.

I would like to forget how he told of a large crowd of people that screamed in fear that the dust from the tower collapse was poison gas from an enemy attack and jumped into the river to save themselves.

I would like to forget that every time he mentions these stories, to this day, he cries.

I would like to forget.

I would like to forget all these things, but the truth is, I never will.


Anonymous said...

was Sams family ok?

@DJNoRequest said...

Yes, all were safe. It took him a while to find out though.

Neal said...

Nice words. Here in the big A, it still comes up in conversation. It's safe to say it changed my life. I became an Ironworker to help rebuild NY as part of my patriotic duty. And as a full metal jack of all trades, this was a trade I figured I'd enjoy as well as employ. Art wise, I still have creative juices but the trade off has stifled them a bit. Anyway, you effin rock!

Barb said...

Thank you Greg.