I Will ALWAYS Be A New Yorker – My September 11, 2001 Story

Originally Published September 11, 2011

This is my personal story of September 11, 2001 and what happened after – as I experienced it 60 miles away from Ground Zero…

My father’s grandparents, (both sets) Irish Catholics, somehow managed to survive the Famine in Ireland which killed so many. They came to America to escape the oppression in Ireland and landed in New York City. It would be a hundred years before anyone in that family line ever moved out of the City to other places.

My mother is from a tiny country called Grenada. She saw there were few opportunities for a young lady there, so she packed her bags and came to find the “American Dream” in New York City. She found it. She also found my father and it was love at first sight. They met at the famous Rainbow Room in NYC and were married a few months later.

They started their family in New York City and they started with nothing.
My parents managed to find success in their lives and eventually moved out of the City to give us kids some fresh air and a taste of the “good life”.
My father continued to work for the City until his retirement despite moving to the country and then the suburbs.

I grew up on Long Island in the shadow of New York City and made frequent trips into the City to see relatives and also to have fun. In sixth grade it was a rite of passage at my school to take a field trip to NYC. I got to go to South Street Seaport, and the Empire State Building. The highlight of the entire day was going up to the top floors of the magnificent World Trade Center, the Twin Towers. The view was incredible. To be at the top of the City looking down on the world is a memory I will always cherish. Even from the ground looking up at those buildings was an experience in itself. Nearly twice as tall as the tallest buildings, they were! As a teen, taking the train into Manhattan and wandering around the village or seeing a concert at Madison Square Garden was the most fun you could have on a Friday or Saturday night.

When I grew up, I eventually left the Island and moved to where I live now, in the Hudson Valley, about 45 minutes north of the City.

You can tell a person is a New Yorker by the way we refer to it as “the City” and are understood that “the City” means no other City but New York City itself.

I remember well that terrible day when the world as we knew it was changed forever. The day we collectively lost our innocence – September 11, 2001. This is the day as I experienced it…

It was a beautiful morning and a day like any other as far as I knew at the time. My car was broken, so I borrowed my mom’s to get to work. The car had no radio, so I had no idea why cars were stopping and drivers looked so pale behind the wheel. Only when I stopped at the gas station near my job did I begin to learn that today would be unlike any day I ever had before and a day whose likes I hope to never see again.

As I filled up my coffee cup in the gas station, a woman came in and said that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. It appeared to be an accident.

I went to work (I worked at a kiosk in the mall) and was opening up my store when my phone started ringing. It was my mom and she was hysterical. Did I hear about the Twin Towers? Yes, I said, a terrible accident. “NO!” She says, “A second plane has hit, it’s no accident! We are under attack!”

I turned on the radio and heard the screams, sirens and chaos in the streets, the station was broadcasting live sound from the site of the disaster. Reporters were still trying to piece it together.

Employees at other stores were talking about the apocalypse and that a whole bunch of planes had gone missing and that we were indeed under attack by terrorists. A store nearby had a television and I went to stand and watch with many others in horrified silence, jaws agape, as the first building fell. A man next to me said that over 50 thousand people are known to work in that building. My God, how many just died?

I saw people falling from the sky as they jumped from the buildings to their deaths to escape the inferno. My eyes did not want to believe what I was seeing.

Young people who worked in the mall were crying because they had parents working in those buildings and the mall management would not let anyone close up shop and leave. My mom called again, the Pentagon was burning and there were still planes unaccounted for in the air. Her sisters and cousins have children working there, and she could not get any calls to go through outside of our local area. We had just buried my father less than eight months before and this was all just too much for her to take.

I called my employer and learned that they had a kiosk in one of the towers, and her brother’s fiance was working there – nobody could reach her. I told her about the mall’s insistence on business as usual despite the fact that as far as we knew, the USA was under attack. She told me to disregard the mall rules, close up shop, and go be with my mom who needed me. So I did.

The ride home was incredibly spooky. No radio in the car, so I had no idea if any worse was happening than what I’d already witnessed. I drove down Route 9 which is normally congested 24/7 and was the only car on the road. I kept looking up at the clear blue sky wondering what next? It was one of the nicest days, weather wise, that I’d ever seen. It seemed a cruel joke that such a lovely day could hold such terrible events.

Eventually I got home to be with my mom. Before my dad died, he was in a coma for eight days. The whole time he was in that hospital bed I had a lump in my throat so bad that I couldn’t eat a thing. I gagged on every morsel I tried to consume. The whole time hoping for good news which never came. I had that same feeling now, and it wouldn’t leave me for a very long time. All media all the time was around this terrible thing which happened in OUR City, I kept hoping for survivors, but there were few.

Now it is ten years later. Every time I see a TV show or movie made before that day, and catch a glimpse of those buildings, I break down and cry. Even if the image is up for only a second, it doesn’t matter, the heartbreak returns as if it were happening all over again. Nobody I know has been left untouched my that day, and nobody I know will ever be able to forget what happened. The horror and the heroism will be with us forever. I will probably always cry when I see pictures of the World Trade Center as it was before, and I guess that’s OK; it is my scar and my reminder that I AM a New Yorker and regardless of where I live, I will ALWAYS be a New Yorker.

I had to write this because I happened to catch the end of the movie the Gangs of NY – they showed the NY skyline as it developed over the years. The last picture showed the Twin Towers, and I cried, as I always do when I see those buildings as they were. NY is in my blood, in my genes, and in my heart. I could move halfway around the world, and I would still be a New Yorker.

On September 12, 2001 I went to work just like everyone else who was able to did. It was at the urging of our President that we do so, as a massive act of defiance to those who sought to destroy our way of life. It was not easy going into work with such a heavy heart, but it WAS the right thing to do. I was greeted at the door to the mall by another worker who looked just as down as I felt, and she said “great day to be an American, huh?” with tears in her eyes. I don’t remember what I said to her, but we did talk for a while before starting the day.

The mall was like a ghost town. Who the hell would want to shop today?
So I read the papers, as difficult as it was, because I felt it was my duty as a human being to read, remember and reflect, and I listened to my little radio which was no longer playing music, just broadcasting more sad news all day long. The NY Daily News the day before had hit the newsstands hours before those terrible events – the front page story was Mariah Carey’s meltdown. Oh My God, I thought to myself, how much the world we knew had changed in just a few hours! I saved that paper, and all the ones which followed in the days ahead so one day I could show my children and help them understand what had happened to my City, my Country, and my World.

I never wrote about this before, I never could, I rarely speak of such things and I don’t like thinking about it, but it is always in my mind and in my heart – I guess it always will be.

On September 12, 2001 I went back to work along with everyone else who was able to in an open act of defiance against those who murdered so many of my brothers and sisters and who would love nothing more than to see us crumble. We stood up the best way we could, we showed up and in our grief and we fought the good fight in our own small ways. Halfway through the day I found it intolerable not to be able to do more. I called the Red Cross and other relief agencies to see how I could help. I had no money, but I had time and a strong desire to put something positive back into my shattered world.

I found out what was needed by the rescue and recovery workers and the survivors who were still Downtown. They needed fresh bottled water, eye wash, clothes, bandages, and more. They needed shoes, because the people working in the “Pit” had the bottoms of their own shoes melted from the heat of the fires which still burned and would continue to burn for a very long time. I consulted my employer who was still trying to get her mind around the fact that so many people she loved had died, and she gave me permission for what I would do next.I took a big empty box and put it in front of my kiosk with a sign asking for donations of things our Heroes needed. By the end of the day the box was full, and I took it to the nearest drop off point where they would be shipping supplies to Manhattan from. I told the local radio station and newspaper what we were doing and they informed the public how they could help. I was listed among the other groups who were collecting needed items to send down to the city. I left an empty box for the next shift to collect after I went home.

The next morning that box was full and another was halfway full. Older people came silently with tears in their eyes and dropped supplies in the box. Younger people came with shoes and clothes in all kinds of sizes with the tags still on them. They purchased these items themselves with their minimum wage paychecks.

Cases and cases of fresh bottled water appeared before me, and the boxes continued to pile up. I filled my truck completely at the end of the day with supplies and there was still more. Two and three trips a day I would make and I still needed others to move the donations to the drop off points!

My mother contacted her ophthalmologist, and he donated cases and cases of eyewash! The response was utterly overwhelming and touched my heart in a way few things in this life ever could.
Mothers whose sons were cops and firemen working in the Pit told me what else was needed and I updated the supply list regularly. Whatever we asked for, we got tenfold!

It was a small thing we could all do to help, but it meant the world to me to be able to do it and have so many people open their hearts to help our Ground Zero Heroes.
As long as I live, I will never forget it.

Even in our darkest hours, we managed to find some light, and some hope.
Along with the tales of horror and destruction, the news also started to bring us amazing stories of bravery and heroism which reminded us all of the quality of humanity. A reminder that though evil acts may befall us, good will not be suppressed for very long.

As New Yorkers, as Americans, and as humans, we will ALWAYS fight the darkness and one way or another find a way to bring light back into the world we live in.

God Bless America, and God Bless New York!

Just a Note

I am still alive, but I just have not been up to writing. I did get through my surgeries ok, but 2018 was simply a miserable year filled with trauma and drama that I don’t want to talk about, and 2019 thus far has just been a long stupid never ending winter which has left me in a funk.

Rumor has it that spring may eventually arrive, so I’ve got that going for me, and I still have this website so maybe I’ll start using it again.

Thank you to everyone who has offered me thoughts and prayers, and thank you to everyone who hasn’t forgotten me.

Prayer Request

Sorry I am not here much anymore, but I have been writing on Fridays at DaTechGuy’s Blog, and you can see my stuff here:

http://datechguyblog.com/author/zilla/

I am posting from my phone right now so please forgive the formatting or lack thereof. I am in bed & not feeling well.

Tomorrow (Wednesday 12/20), I am having major surgery which I hope will make me feel better in the long run – after however long it takes to heal. The surgery is medically necessary so it has to get done regardless.

Please pray for me that the surgery goes ok and that I get to come back home to my family.

Thank you for your friendship & support over the years, I really do love you all! I will try to update when it’s all done.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! May God bless you all.

Love,

Mare (Zilla)

 

Never Underestimate the Power of Dad

A comment in a Reddit thread:

Uhtred_McUhtredson • 5h

The office of the POTUS is practically a psychological Archetype. He’s like the dad of our country. The wise pop of everyone who holds America in their heart.

[…]

Trump is a caring dad and grandfather. Just look at the poise of his kids. Their work ethic and family values. People don’t just come out that way, they learn by watching. Trump is the quintessential father figure. He’s big, he wears a suit, he has a sense of humor, he can hold his own and he makes you feel safe. You don’t even know why, he just does. He’s America’s dad. He keeps us safe at night, gives us the freedom and opportunity to succeed and fail on our own merits and if anyone fucks with us, you know he’s got our backs.

You don’t fuck with America’s dad. We may not even be aware of it consciously, but we feel it on some level. You fuck with my dad, and I won’t forget it. I won’t buy your records, I won’t watch your movies. I will turn off your TV shows and I won’t eat at your bullshit restaurants. You don’t fuck with the American family and expect to get off scott free. We have a long memory and nobody fucks with us.

There’s no such thing as “toxic masculinity” to people who understand the greatness of Dad.

MAGA!

 

 

*******

Tip Jar

Shop Amazon

#TrumpDay – I forgot to give this post a title edition

Welcome back to TrumpDay!

Here is a parody song making fun of those stupid brainwashed antifa dumbasses, enjoy!

 

Here is a video compilation of 18 months of Left Wing Violence – what their enablers don’t want anyone to know about:

 

RELATED: Name Antifa As Terrorist Organization Petition Passes 200k; New Goal is One Million

There’s a reason why they are called “rent a mob”.

Camping World’s CEO decided that it would be a good idea to announce that they do not want customers who are Trump supporters. DaTechGuy has an idea for how you can easily show Camping World what you think about that.

Over at Polination, Pistol Pete has a nice summary of President Trump’s visit and rally in Arizona last night.

It is time for me to get back to momstuff, so Happy TrumpDay, y’all, MAGA!

 

*******

Tip Jar

Shop Amazon

Back to Homeschool Season

Miss me? I know I haven’t posted anything here in over a month, but I have been busy with the family and critters this summer and I’m also incredibly bored by all the stupidity I see and hear in the “news” lately.

I write at DaTechGuy’s Blog on Fridays, so please come visit me there and also check out all the other good stuff that is there every single day.

I will still blog here, of course, when time and circumstances allow and when I am inclined to do so. It is always nice to have your own place available to say what you want when you want to!

It is back to school prep season for everyone who sends their kids off to a school somewhere, and, for those of us who homeschool from fall to summer, it is also back to homeschool season (some families homeschool year round, but my family enjoys the summer break). Homeschool families of course must supply all of their own books and materials (while their property taxes still go to support the public schools they are not using) at their own expense.

I can never afford the fancy packaged complete curriculums (which I hear are very good) and I am not clever enough to do it all from scratch and for free the way some moms do, but I found a resource that I like and will share it here for anyone who is interested:

Amy Maryon is a homeschooling mom of ten(!) kids who has graciously made lessons available for anyone who wants them at her website Plain and not so plain, in addition to blogging about all kinds of other interesting and useful things. She has FREE pdf downloads covering entire grades worth of curriculum for Math and English, and other courses as well, and for people who would prefer to have physical books (it can get pricey to print hundreds of pages at home and sometimes it is just easier to just have a book), Amy put many of the courses from her website into book form that is very reasonably priced at Amazon.

Whether you are sending the kids off to a school or keeping them at home to educate them this year, Amazon has back to school deals in abundance. Anything you buy from my Amazon links sends a small commission my way, which will help me and my kids out, and it won’t cost you a penny extra!

I hope you all have been having a fabulous summer and that you enjoy the remainder of it. Summer has always been my favorite season, it is too bad that it goes by so fast!

 

 

 

*******

Tip Jar

Shop Amazon

Seven Seventeen Seventeen

July 17, 2017 – 7-17-17 – Lots of sevens there, should be a lucky day for folks who dig that sort of thing.

Also on July 17th are:

Get Out of the Doghouse Day – it’s all about forgiveness, which is something we all need to be giving and getting from time to time. Via the official Get Out of the Doghouse Day website:

How To Celebrate Get Out of the Dog House Day
Have you sent someone to the doghouse recently? This day would be a nice time to forgive them of their wrongdoing and give them a chance. Talk to them and let them know that you still value them.
Has a spouse or friend or family member sent you there? Well today is the perfect time to reconnect with them and detach from technology. Take them out for coffee, make them a card, or pick them some flowers. Giving others a little bit of your time can show how much you care and that you do want to make it up to them. Get yourself out of that dog house!
If no one is in the dog house, it would still be a good day to take a friend on a walk, call a sibling, stop by to see your parents. Let them know how much joy they give your life.    MORE

National Tattoo Day – I have a few of those from my misspent young adulthood!

Yellow Pig Day – A Math holiday celebrating the fascinating number 17!

Wrong Way Corrigan Day! – One of my favorite stories of a clever aviator:

Corrigan was among the mechanics who had worked on Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis aircraft, but that mere footnote in the history of flight was not enough for the Texas-born aviator. In 1938, he bought a 1929 Curtiss Robin aircraft off a trash heap, rebuilt it, and modified it for long-distance flight. In July 1938, Corrigan piloted the single-engine plane nonstop from California to New York. Although the transcontinental flight was far from unprecedented, Corrigan received national attention simply because the press was amazed that his rattletrap aircraft had survived the journey.

Almost immediately after arriving in New York, he filed plans for a transatlantic flight, but aviation authorities deemed it a suicide flight, and he was promptly denied. Instead, they would allow Corrigan to fly back to the West Coast, and on July 17 he took off from Floyd Bennett field, ostentatiously pointed west. However, a few minutes later, he made a 180-degree turn and vanished into a cloudbank to the puzzlement of a few onlookers.

Twenty-eight hours later, Corrigan landed his plane in Dublin, Ireland, stepped out of his plane, and exclaimed, “Just got in from New York. Where am I?” He claimed that he lost his direction in the clouds and that his compass had malfunctioned. The authorities didn’t buy the story and suspended his license, but Corrigan stuck to it to the amusement of the public on both sides of the Atlantic. By the time “Wrong Way” Corrigan and his crated plane returned to New York by ship, his license suspension had been lifted, he was a national celebrity, and a mob of autograph seekers met him on the gangway.

World Emoji Day – 🙂  Emojis are fun, so celebrate!  😉

David Hasselhoff‘s Birthday is July 17. Don’t Hassle the Hoff! I enjoyed him in Knight Rider and the Sharknado movies. BTW, Sharknado 5 is coming soon!

Phyllis Diller was born on July 17, 1917. She was funny.

John Jacob Astor was born on July 17, 1763. He founded an American empire.

July 17 is also my birthday. Yay, me. 

 

Sorry I have not been around much lately, I know I have missed my last two TrumpDays, but be assured that I still dearly love My President and support him completely. I have just been busy with the family at home, and, I also recently had a little mishap that left me with a part of my poor face getting put back together with surgical glue and butterfly stitches and I am getting cranky while waiting for it to heal. In other news, I go back to the dentist on Wednesday to finish up work on that tooth that went bad. I’ll be glad when that is over! Even when I am not blogging here, you can still find me on Fridays at my friend Peter’s place, Da Tech Guy Blog. My most recent post is here.

I hope you have a wonderful Monday. I still really do love you all.

 

 

*******

Tip Jar

Shop Amazon

#TrumpDay – Hardcore Edition

I’m late to the date cuz I was busy doing MomStuff all day, but here we are now, again, for #TrumpDay! I’ll leave the serious analysis of the week’s events to some better bloggers; all I’m good for right now are some cool videos & badass tunes that I found for you. Enjoy!

You can never have too many exciting Trump memes…

God Emperor Trump:

Here’s a hot take on that special election “referendum” on Trump last week – Liberals Went Down To Georgia:

‘Bout danged time we got a good John Lennon Parody, this one is straight outta Kekistan – Imagine Communism:

#BlackLivesMAGA – (gratuitous f-bomb & n-word warning):

Ya know how they say right wingy is the new punk? How about some actual right wingy punk music? Crank it up!

Emperor Washington –

Russian Collaboration:

Trolling Snowflakes:

Like A Communist:

Run Over Protesters:

I hope you had as much fun with those as I did. Until next time, Happy TrumpDay, y’all, MAGA!

*******

Tip Jar

Shop Amazon

#TrumpDay – Referendum Schmeferendum Edition

Huzzah! It’s TrumpDay again!

There was a special election in Georgia for Newt Gingrich’s old Congressional seat and it was supposed to be a “referendum” on the Presidency of My Donald where the leftist “Trump Slayer” carpetbagger propped up by Hollyweird would win as the media predicted he would and it would show everyone that President Trump can’t MAGA, but it didn’t quite work out that way. LOL

FoxNews morning crew with some analysis:

Schadenfreudefreakingtastic.

Democrats also lost in South Carolina last night.

Survey says: The kids are all right.

In case you missed it when it blew up in the dextrosphere last month, here is Chris Ray Gun with “Ain’t No Rest for the Triggered” (cuz it’s awesome):

This is sure to trigger some snowflakes – multiple Pepes doing the Peanuts Dance:

Until next time… Happy TrumpDay, y’all, MAGA!

*******

Tip Jar

Shop Amazon