Things I Will Never Forget

I wrote this blog a few years ago thinking it would one of the best ways to recall and portray the events that I lived through on September 11th 2001. It was meant to be a timeless piece that would outlive memory- which is all too often fleeting.

The title, “Things I Will Never Forget”, was perhaps half hope, half a declarative statement to my own subconscious, weeping with any recall, that September 11th 2001 was not something I wanted to forget. Ever. 

Now the years have passed, but those memories are as vivid as yesterday. I don’t need political events driven by apocryphal motives to remind me how it was that day, how I should feel now and how youth, innocence and bliss were forever trampled by forces still determined to destroy us.

  •  The unrivaled clarity of that beautiful September day
  •   The deafening sound of a jetliner hitting the WTC
  •   The dreamlike state that occurred as I watched people blown by the blast blended and falling with jet fuel and debris
  •   The war-like after effects on the ground
  •   Endless acrid smoke and the burning smell of jet fuel
  •   Paper, ceaseless paper, falling from the sky

– The cacophonous sound when detritus hits the ground from 100 stories; the horror as it struck the unfortunate trying to flee or help
– Absolute panic and bewilderment in the faces of those too scared to move; the comfort reassurance can bring
– Runelike sounds of screaming and sobbing from many as the situation was assessed and uncertainty became a factor
– The fulminating sound of a second airliner hitting the South Tower, combined with the blinding, effulgent light created by tons of jet fuel igniting
– Floor after floor of high rise glass shattering and the endless variegated crashing sounds of more debris
– The ghastly, unforgettable sound a person makes when they hit the ground from 100 stories; the disbelief that comes with watching such an event
– Minutes that seemed like hours, defying all time perception; planning for retreat and egress where the lives of others hung in the balance
– Exiting to absolute confusion and a multifarious, unrecognizable assortment of emanations that stung the senses
– The clamorous, booming sound of a 100 story building disintegrating and falling to earth; the panic of being far too close. The submission which comes with that realization
– Day becoming night; air becoming dirt; Divine protection and dose of luck
– Silence, stentorian silence followed by choking in the initial stages of a ghastly awakening
– The unmistakable rumble of a fighter jet shattering the day; the inexplicable hope that comes with that noise
– The unending, sustained trip home on roads seemingly devoid of life; the powerful feeling of holding those you love and never wanting to let go
– Anger that years of incompetence, inaction and meaningless interlocution permitted these events to occur
– Days of insomnia, only to be broken by a promise the perpetrators would be pursued and we would be kept safe; promises kept and unceasing loyalty
– Acceptance that things will never be the same