Ever since I posted the original recollection, a deluge of e-mails have come in from around the World: Japan, Kenya, Indonesia, England, Germany, Canada, Hong Kong, India and more.
In the States, from Hawaii to NYC and everywhere in between.
Reading the outpouring of personal accounts, of tales of people lost as well as found, of grief and love and anger and support are just too much to take by myself.
So I have decided to share. Below are a few 100 or so unedited emails, roughly in the order they were received. My own comments or email responses are in italics.
I hope reading these brings as much joy and happiness to you as I got from receiving them . . .
I am a WWII veteran of the 8th Air Force that flew Flying Fortresses. Each plane that hit WTC carried over 80,000 lbs of jet fuel equivalent to a fleet of 16 B-17 Flying Fortresses concentrated in one spot!. A B-17 carried 5,000 lbs of bombs. Other than the dropping of the atomic boms over Japan there was never such a concentration of bombing in history.
Thousands had to be incinerated instantly.
God bless you and all the others!
Just finished reading your well written article about your friend Bill’s experience, living through that horrible attack on Tuesday. My prayers are with you all in New York. Even as far away as Honolulu, where I am, this tragedy touches us… My friend’s brother had an early morning meeting on the 99th floor of one of the towers. He hasn’t been heard from since.
Anyway, just wanted to say that I like your style of writing. Hope to read more of your writings soon.
Bruce Honolulu, HI
I just wanted to tell you how much that helped me. Hearing stories of happiness. So much of the news has been grim and mind-blowing, but to hear of a happy ending for your friend and his family is wonderful. Because now, just as those who lost someone they knew, will not take their lives or freedom for granted. I still have not heard from my friend in the Army that worked in the Pentagon. Please say a prayer and thank you for your unique insight into this tragedy.
I’m glad to hear you’re ok. I finally got through on the phones last night and talked to most of my NYC friends. It seems that all my friends are ok, but at least half of them have lost friends and colleagues. I still can’t take it all in. All the american expats here are walking around dazed.
Anyways, keep me posted on how you’re doing. I’ll probably be taking a trip back through the US later in the fall, so I’ll see you soon.
Ben, Hong Kong
Thank you so much for sharing this story. “Safe” here in Texas, so far away from the coast and seemingly beyond harm’s way, it is still difficult to digest the horror we saw on TV on Tuesday. I was filled with anger, deep sorrow, and numb from disbelief. I was also filled with gratitude, respect, and pride by the subsequent response of so many compassionate and brave souls. I cannot offer my hands to help, but rest assured I, and all of America, offer our constant and daily prayers for all of you who experienced such personal loss.
May God bless you and comfort you, Robby
Looking at the devastation and loss of life on the T.V. made me feel like I had lost one of my loved ones and indeed we all did and what can you say to these families when we our selves do not understand. But when you look at the people who did this and the people who harbor them and help them you can honestly say that these are devils in human form who know nothing but hate, feel nothing and would go to any length just for the sheer joy of killing innocent men, women and children all in the name of Allah. But don’t be deceived, because there is no God that would condone killing of the innocents and also Islam does not believe in killing innocent men, women and children. The God these butchers believed in and the ones who support them is the devil and that is where they will burn for eternity. Right now we need to stick together as one family, pray to the Almighty God for his guidance and mercy on this country and for everyone who believes in freedom and justice no matter who they may be or what country they are from , together we can win this war on terrorism with the help of the Almight God because no nation is safe until we do.
Deb Tampa Bay
One of the best accounts that I have read through all of this. I have been reading so much that I started skimming a lot of articles, but when I got to this I had to read it word for word. The reality of “it could have been me”, although I am not in NY, hit fast. It could have been anything, anywhere and we all could have been hearing or telling the same story. This is the most real thing I have read thus far.
My mom sent in this one:
Our [Bible] tells us that our world was created imperfect. G-d created man to be His partner in perfecting His world. The incalculable magnitude of sheer evil which has been wrought upon our society, yesterday, must now be answered with an equally, if not greater, magnitude of force comprised of goodness and light. The scales of the universe must be steadied, and with G-d’s help, tipped to the good.
–Rabbi Sholom Ciment
I am from New Orleans, LA . I just wanted to say your friend is a lucky man, not only to be alive but to have a friend such as you.
I had the pleasure of visiting your city in April of this year. My daughter is in the drama club at her scool and we took a 4 day trip there. To think I stood in the WTC 4 short months ago. Such beautiful memories for my daughter and I on a vacation, now it is a nightmare for so many others.
Keeping you and yours in our prayers.
Your story brought me to tears. I know people in New York, I dealt with them everyday. Our prayers are with all of you. Tell your friend Bill that I am not sure I would have dealt the same way with the Arab celebrating on the bridge, but I guess I was not there. Thank you for the article.
Newport Beach, CA
I am moved by your friend’s story and am glad that at least some people were able to escape a certainly tragic death. Thanks for sharing his story and for helping me to imagine survivors of this horrible incident. It is with stories and accounts like this man that help us all move through these hard times.
I wanted to thank you for your account of Tuesday’s happenings. It is the first account I have read or heard and I will never forget it. Since your friend had no interest in writting it up I am very glad that you did. It was incredibly insightful. Being all the way in Houston it is hard to imagine a persons perspective. We only see what the news shows us and what we hear. I thank you. May God bless.
Afton, an American thru and thru
Thank you for the story of your friend’s experience. I too am in the industry, and although I am in St Louis, MO, I feel this event very personally. God give strength and resolve to New Yorkers and to America.
Thank you for your personal recollection, an ex Wallstreeter (2 WFC) recently transplanted to Washington DC – experiencing all too personally the incidents in both cities.
I am a nurse practitioner, MSN, MPH. I worked on the Thai Cambodian Border in 82-84. I called the Red Cross. They say they don’t want help from volunteers who haven’t gone thru their Disaster Relief Course.
Sometimes institutional arrogance just makes one laugh, or else cry.
So, in case this happens again, I will try to take their course. But what a time for small minded bureaucrats.
I appreciate your diary. I called my parents at 9am to tell them not to drive into NY. I made them turn on the TV. Then I called to make sure NEW YORK family was OK. Then came to work in Arlington as I heard about the Pentagon and made sure my friend near by was OK. And then called to see who needed help. There were so many offers for help but no need.
It is frustrating and worse, depressing, to have nothing to do. I have worked under harsh conditions before. I am so ready. This isn’t the end. We can’t wipe out all haters, Check out the Five Percent Nation a real hate group based in NY. None of my cancer patients are calling. it is so quiet here. Suddenly cancer seems a smaller issue than the national disaster.
Thank you for sharing your poignant account of indeed surreal events of that fated day. I cried and laugh, mix emotions I had while reading your article. I cannot anymore to it . I just want to say Thank you for sharing it with us. Sincerely,
Thank you for a very well done piece. It was very uplifting, and I enjoyed your commentary. Dan
Thank you soo much for recollecting what your colleague felt and live through. It is hard for us to understand what is going on and how people are coping with it. I was myself on the East Coast, in Boston and my level of astonishment has yet to pass. It is hard to describe what I feel today, but reading your article clarified the emotions of people living in NYC and even Washington.
There is one area of your text that shocked me to the greatest level. It’s not something you wrote, but rather the expressions of joy displayed by some arab-looking people or some muslims.
I am without a doubt proud to be a Muslim. Not the Islam we see here in the Western world, but rather the one a good majority of us practice. As a child, I was thaught by my parents to be tolerant, understanding of other faiths and other beliefs. I was thaught to be tolerant of my peers and women. Violence was not an option, never.
Today, most of my friends are muslim and jewish. Something most people, because of some idiot fanatics, have a hard time believing. Of course, I have disagreements between myself and my jewish friends on what the problem is in the Middle East. But the purpose is to get an understanding of what we both see and feel.
It’s regretful to see CNN and other major station show signs of joy in the Arab world. It’s sad, because, I know of at least 20 people in that building who are probably dead today that were Arab Muslims. These people killed blindly. They killed Americans, Canadians, Muslims, Jews and more. Killing of innocent people is forbidden in the Kuran. There are no exceptions. Suicide is sinful and “send you straight to hell”. There is nothing honorable according to the Holy scripture. There are no exceptions.
You must be wondering the whole point of this email. The point is simple. We are not all bad. Actually, most muslims are disgusted. Sure there are fanatics, and different interpretations. But most of us are sad and in pain. We also consider ourselves Americans or Canadians.
It’s very difficult to accept what I see. But I thought I can clarify that just as a few white guy killing children and government workers in Oklahoma City doesn’t make all white guys bad and racist and terrorist; the same is true for Arabs. It’s not because of a few people with evil values and an uncanny ability to use youth, poverty and pain in the middle east to enroll and train people to kill, that all Muslims and “Arab-looking” people are happy. On the contrary, I am in tears because of the hurt. And I am angry. Although many Americans probably think I am trying hard to pretend.
Thanks for reading!
Barry – wow – amazing story from you and Bill – I’m forwarding my commentary that I had sent to my friends below… Tis a good thing to get out there – a lot of my co-workers are all over the country, and I’ve sent this to some of them, which gave them a grasp on what actually happened compared to what you saw on television…
Thanks again, Tom
Unbelieveable recollection. Thank you so much for sharing. We had clients here from New York who couldn’t get home. The firm called in lunch for everyone Tuesday. It was like comfort food or something. Bless Bill and his family. His purpose here on earth was not up yet.<
Barry, Your writing of your friend, Bill, has touched me and I’ve shared it with many of my friends also. I’m not sure, but I think I got to it from YAHOO, but I’m not really sure anymore with the amount of ‘surfing’ I’ve done since Tuesday… at last the week is ending, but somehow and in spite of this, we will all be changed forever by the actions of these terrorists. I’m thankful that I didn’t have to be in the thick of it. But, I’d like to think that I’d have the courage to do what I think the passengers on the flight which crashed in PA did. Hopefully, I’ll never be tested.
Again, my thanks for your vivid portrayal of Bill’s experiences in NYC on Tuesday, September 11th, in the year of our Lord 2001.
God bless us all,
Betty San Antonio, TX
Please share this message with my American Brothers and Sisters.
One Canadian’s message to his American brothers and sisters,
I am not an American, but a landed immigrant to this great country. I am Canadian, and my family and I, have been hear for 5 years. Even though I wasn’t born here, I spent my entire youth walking it’s shores and it’s borders. I am from a small town in eastern Ontario, which borders the state of New York.
I can’t tell you what complacency feels like, I haven’t been here long enough. I can tell you what it is like to walk upon the land of the free and the home of the brave, and to call it home.
I am honored and I am proud.
I can tell you how I feel about this atrocity. I am outraged. I am hurt. I can not express the sorrow that I feel for those who lost there lives and for the families who lost their loved ones on 11 September 2001. I can only wipe away my tears.
If I could, I would paint an American flag that would cover every roof top in America. I would cover everything American in the world with an American flag, until those factions are brought to justice and until they realize that they can never take from us what is the spirit and kindred called America.
Your Canadian Brother, Allan
Barry, thank you for sharing this story. I am grateful that you, Bill and your other coworkers made it. I have spent much time in the WTC and fear I have lost many friends. I have worked with military factions of this government. I assure you bombing the WTC and the military’s “holy grail”, the Pentagon, has incensed the strongest military force the world has ever known. We are already at war behind the scenes. Bush will declare it as soon as they get the rest of their ducks in order.
All the best,
Thank you for you eloquent writing. The love you have for your city and your friend shines through the report. I love New York City. When I was a drama teacher for twelve years, I chaperoned students on spring break theatre tours every chance I could get. I traveled alone on several occasions to stay with a girlfriend in Brooklyn and just be a tourist for a few days now and then.
My first trip to New York was as a barely eighteen-year-old in my first year of college at Trinity University in San Antonio. The trip was a class that would earn 2 hours of credit in just six days over the Christmas holidays. All we had to do was write reviews of the six plays we would see. Sounded like a snap to me, so I jumped at the chance.
It put me into the best theatres in the world, the best stores, the best downtown experience of my life. I remember being in Times Square on New Year’s Eve on that trip with killions and jillions of other people watching the ball come down and confetti, noise, people kissing, and my chaperone herding us swiftly back to our hotel.
I had a free morning, so I bought some daffodils from a flower shop, got a cup of coffee and a danish, and walked to Tiffany’s, imitating Audrey Hepburn, hoping I’d be discovered for some movie role! A great trip, beautiful experience, and wonderful introduction to the best city in the world.
On subsequent trips, I’ve visited Radio City Music Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Empire State Building, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Greenwich Village, Central Park, the Staten Island Ferry, and the top of the Statue of Liberty, countless theatres and shops, too many to remember. My favorite restaurant is The Crab House on 8th and about 59th or so. My favorite store is, of course, Bergdorf’s, being born and raised in Dallas and practically baptized at Neiman’s.
On one of the theatre trips with my students, we got to go to the top of the World Trade Center. We took in the indescribable view. We bought some souvenirs, and at least, peered into the windows of the Windows of the World restaurant. It was a goal of mine to eat there someday.
My baby brother, who’s actually in his 30s now, but will always be my “baby brother”, e-mailed me his company’s news release on Wednesday of this week.
He works in Seattle for ABM, which is the largest janitorial and maintenance firm in the country. It is traded on the stock exchange. It does over a billion dollars in business in the U.S. and $60 million is, was, from the World Trade Center alone.
Three hundred employees, maintenance workers, elevator, janitorial, lighting, and more, were in those towers. Now, 95% have been accounted for and they are hopeful that the others survived somehow.
I am not sure why I’m writing you all of this. It helps with my sorrow and grief for the people, the city, and the country.
I did want to thank you for the opportunity to share my connection with NYC. Thank you for putting your words on the web. My family just came on-line this summer, and it has opened up a rich and rewarding chance to broaden our minds and hearts.
I wrote my brother of the fact that I’d only gotten to peer into the windows of the Windows of the World on that one trip. He answered back that he got the chance to eat there with our father several years ago. Somehow, that was good enough for me. And, now, that will have to do.
My hope is that the two towers will be able to be rebuilt, so that the skyline can be back to what it was last Monday, September 10th.
My prayers are with you.
Thanks for your story. Much appreciated.
First reports in UK were that only 6 people had been killed. We wish!
What would I do as C in C?
1) Task satellites in geosynchronous orbit over Afganistan. Look for training camps. When identified, send in the Tomahawks, quickly followed by ground troops to mop up survivors. Literally. After pulverising them. At the same time, with allies, pursue and destroy all known Talib members. Give military and economic assistance to the current Talib opposition.
2) Advise Pakistan that they are ‘suspected’ to be harbouring terrorists. Give them 7 days to deliver them up or be regarded as state sponsors and, therefore, guilty of being in breach of article 5 and subject to Nato military retaliation. India would almost certainly be overjoyed at such action!
3) Publicly thank Libya (mostly reformed since he was bombed and lost his son) for their support and demonstrate this with economic aid.
4) Publicly thank Iran for their words of support. They appear to have softened up since they seen Iraq pulverised. Give economic aid.
5) Publicly reinforce support for Israel and assist in throwing out all Palestinians (the wankers celebrated this atrocious cowardly act!). Advise Palestine and Arabs that Palestine will be safe if it keeps to its borders but that any incursion into Israel will be regarded as a hostile act against Nato. Secretly, advise Israel that they will receive a reducing level of support from America and should police their own borders. Advise Israel that Nato will assist them repel any Arab invasion but will be equally agressive towards Israel if it ‘raids’ Palestine.
6) Continue current policy with Iraq. UNTIL it provokes a military reaction. Being bereft of common sense, SadMan will soon ask for it. When he does, give it to him hard and fast and totally. If Thatcher & Bush had of remained in power, they would have captured and killed the bastard. He probably helped the terrorists.
7) Where is bin Ladens money? The banking system MUST be able to track it. Find it, snatch it and use it towards rebuilding costs.
8) Be wary of Arabs! Here in England, we are constantly bombed by the cowards in the IRA. They receive a substantial amount of funding from Americans (NY in particular). We have learnt to be wary of people with Irish Accents. Be vigilant. Learn that terrorism does not work. England has not bowed down to these morons and never will. When you catch them, do what our SAS do: Shoot on sight! Actually, I am in favour of torturing to the point of death to extract all information then executing publicly!
9) Make cockpits secure! Absolutely no admittance possible. Make it grenade proof. If a terrorist trys to take control again, they will find that pilots would rather ditch and die than be used to kill more people.
10) We all hope that the Pennsylvania black box reveals that it was the staff who resisted the terrorists and caused the ditching, thus saving countless lives and damage. They may even have been aware of what the terrorists were up to? They deserve recognition for their valour.
11) After the second tower crash, why was the Pentagon exposed? Why weren’t their defences on red alert?
12) Why didn’t traffic controllers notice that the first two planes were off course for so long? After the first crash, they should have KNOWN that the second rogue flight was a possible terrorist vehicle and they should have scrabled intercept jets after failing to reach its pilot.
13) A hell of a lot of mistakes have been made by your people. Heads must roll and mistakes must be analysed and learnt from. We all wish you a speedy learning curve!
Alas, I am not your C in C!
We are also waiting to see if your financial system holds up. Will Americans lose their bottle and sell their shares? This will cause a crash and achieve another major coup for the terrorists. Or will you hold onto your shares and drive the market up in defiance?
Good luck and welcome to what we have put up with in England for decades. Unfortunately, you may soon get used to it.
Thanks for sharing that with us. I think that the human perspective of stories like this may help us to integrate this experience, as individuals who make up a nation. I received the following broadcast email from my niece in NY, the evening of the eleventh. It gave me a perspective that I think has helped me through this. Before that it was too mind numbing, surreal as your friend Bill put it.
I have not asked my Niece’s permission but I’m sure she wouldn’t mind me sharing it personally with people, with the names changed, so please don’t use it in a public way, should you even want to, until I hear back from her. She is a twenty year old college student doing a summer class in architecture at Columbia.
I have also included some thoughts at the end that you may be in a position to pass on should you consider them appropriate.
i just wanted to let those who care know that i am alive and safe, but terror stricken. i was down at the world trade center this morning, planning to meet with those in my Columbia university architecture program for a tour/forum at the WTC (ironically, the class is called “Planning and Preservation”).
by some god given twist of fate, our meeting time was pushed fwd at the last minute from 9am to 9:30am. myself and another girl, stood only a few blocks away from the towers just as the airplanes had hit them, and watched with total fucking god-forsaken horror as the first tower just crumbled to the fucking ground, people around me started screaming and running and grown men and women dropped to the pavement and sobbed and screamed hysterically with their arms outstretched toward the building, knowing that their loved ones were dead. i saw people climbing out the windows and trying to desperately scale down the building from the 80th floor, only to fall to their deaths. i saw people jump and just fall through the air
i am stilll shaking as i write this, and i have never felt so sick. i wanted to puke in the street, but too many people were crying. before this day i never beleived in god, really. but now i know why other people do. i know that something today was watching over me. something or someone made sure that i arrived just a few minutes too late to be caught inside or worse, beneath, those buildings. i dont even have it in me to hate yet, or to be angry… i am so thankful to be alive, and i just wanted to send lots of love to you all.
there are already over 200 firemen alone presumed dead/missing, two of them being the father and brother of my friend John. they are so brave to be doing what they are doing. please pray for them.
She has been, of course, traumatized and sleepless, even more than the rest of the nation. As with Bill’s experience the images that still haunt her most are the people jumping from the building. In a town where people are known to chant “jump” to suicides this seems to be the image most striking to people. And yet at the same time most of us applaud and feel differently about passengers who took their plane down in a Pennsylvania field.
The result is the same for either set of the participants but the difference is a matter of control. That is also at the root I believe of all this outraged, “Bomb them back into the Stone Age,” talk. As I have listened to people and babble radio voicing their opinions the phrase keeps coming back to me, “Those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it.”
I suspect from you comment, “I don’t know how measured the response will be…” that you share my concern about over reaction. If public pressure tips the president into ill conceived action, we will play in the perpetrator’s hands. An over reaction on our part will only give the terrorists the credibility for recruiting and fund raising and the stature they need to mount a really serious offensive.
As much as Pearl Harbor is burned into our memories it was a drop in the bucket in terms of lives lost in the Pacific conflict so could this be. In that case our military response was appropriate against a military force. In this case a military response will more likely feed the enemy because there is no appropriate military target save the perpetrator himself and men under his command — or any other violent terrorists.
Having read you letters on the market I think, besides all the full complement of feelings, you have a strongly rational side. You are also in a position to give people some food for thought to reengage their minds, a duty I have been doing this week in my small way. You certainly understand the danger of pushing the center line of the bell shaped curve among the 1.5 billion Moslems world wide in almost every country. The sympathetic become supporters, supports activist, activist terrorists. We have the capacity to give the terrorists the best recruiting and fundraising tool they could have. For the less rational people I’ve asked them, “If your mother had been killed in the WTC would you volunteer for a suicide mission to strike back?” If the answer is yes then, “Now if you are a Moslem, your mother is in Kabul and we bomb it what are you gonna do?”
Well, if you’ve gotten this far Barry among all the emails you’ve no doubt gotten then thanks for listening. We need to steer a careful course, these waters are full of mines.
most def, you can pass it on. actually, ive gotten a few reply emails from people commending the letter, saying that it really gave the situation a more human feel, etc., and some people fwd’d it to their families without asking, and their parents and others ended up emailing me back saying how touched they were, so im glad that at least something came of it.
i wrote the first “just letting you know im ok” email while i was still in shock, and the second one was written in response to your reply once i realized i was scared shitless and couldnt sleep and i think that for me at least, that one was more real, just because of the sheer terror i felt while writing it.
Anyway, yeah feel free to fwd it. i dont think people can really understand exactly how new yorkers feel right now, or worse, how those who were there that day feel, but i hope that at least this will make them think twice. i know that i have suffered enough already, and im not ready or willing to suffer any more, especially not for the sake of redemption.
You dont have to omit the Columbia University reference, since a girl from my class was already on CNN and talked about us being there, but yeaah you can change names or whatever. im slowly trying to recover and get over this, not to forget but rather just to accept the trauma and use it and move on. i worked on my archtecture project all yesterday and last night, and then we had our crit today which went really well, so things are starting to seem normal again. still, i jump at loud noises and sirens, and cannot turn on the tv or take the subway without falling into some sort of hyperventilatory fit (dunno why where the subway is concerened, but such is the case)
i dont know if i told you this but thursday was even worse than the previous days before that. i went to a prayer/vigil at my yoga center downtown that evening, my dad had told me i might feel better after it. i just cried lots all alone and felt even worse, bu what really sucked was that we lit candles for the dead people, and then the fucking table with the candles caught on fire! that was more than i could handle. i ran out onto the street (where, btw, everyone was wearing masks and it was like a war zone still), only to get a cell phone call from my roomate who was leaving our apt for CT, to be with her boyfriend at Wesleyan.
Apparently we had just had a bomb threat on my street and everyone was going crazy. i ran to these policemen on the street who took care of me for like a half hour because i was freaking out and almost fainted right there on the spot. they were so kind, brought me into a bar and sat me down and talked to me and fed me and gave me water, even let me listen on their walkie-talkies to their cheif who assured us that the threat on 106th st was a hoax.
So then, finally i collect myself and go back to stay at my apt all alone, where i call my friend mike for comfort. he’s like, dude, why are you back there!? apparently there was a murder up the block just a half hour before i got home. yes, 3, THREE, people were shot, murdered in front of what i beleive was an arab- owned grocery store. the authorities are not releasing the ethnicity of the victims, which makes the obvious even more obvious.
One part of the “Recollection” particularly concerns me – the celebrating Arab man. It makes it clear to me that our country has been infiltrated by the enemy, and we will not be aware of who the enemy is.
I live in San Antonio, TX. On the news last night was the report of a “doctor” of Middle East descent who lives in a northside neighborhood. He is believed to be connected with bin Laden. He and his family have not been seen since last weekend and the authorities have not been able to contact him in anyway. The neighbors interviewed on the news reflect that this man gave no outward indication of having radical, anti-American beliefs.
It begs a question: “If we are indeed infiltrated, how will we identify the enemy?” Will we need to reinstate the Detention Camps of WWII for the entire Arab-American population? Will the less than 0.1% of this group that have evil intentions bring unbelievable suffering on the 99.9%+ that are no less American patriots than you or I?
I wish I knew the answer.
Matt, San Antonio, TX
God bless y’all.
I read your story. I am also a former Marine officer. I believe with every ounce of my soul that the events which have transpired over the last several days have given us the strength and resolve to confront terrorism whereever it exists. We should not rest until we have hunted down each and every murderer or anyone who even thinks about harming another American life. We are now at war, and we will do whatever is necessary to eradicate this cancer from our lives. Allah will not be able to help those who are responsible for these acts, or those who assisted them or provided a safe haven, because we will find them whereever they exist.
Thank you. mwas.com
I am in tears after reading your account – God bless you and your family. I am so happy for all of you that you survived. I agree with your sensing palpable resolve emerging – I for one feel it raging inside of me. God Bless America!!
Good luck to you-
Debbie, Warwick, RI
Our prayers and thoughts are with you. We live in Louisville, Kentucky. As we stood and watched the first tower burning at work we could not believe the second tower was hit. We work in City Government. We all stood in total shock and horror.
We have put together a Relief Fund with all our donations on the way to your city. Within the first day we raised over $100,000.00. Our emergency workers, bottled water, survival kits, firemen, police and recovery dogs are on their way.
We may be many states apart but support you greatly. United we stand with you! God Bless You All!
I appreciate what you have shared with the rest of us: the personal account and the tour of the twin towers. I live in Tennessee. My heart and prayers go out to the people of NYC and to our country. Thanks!
I was intrigued by your story on your friend Bill, and it was indeed an uplifting story when you see the character of the man and indeed some of the people he met on his way home. I thought it might interest you what I ahve to say in light of your encounter with the arab on the bridge and other “observers” from the middle east. I live in Indonesia on the Island of Java, about 150 miles fromJakarta. I am British/Australian and I saw the planes crashing into the WTC on TV as “breaking News”. The curioue thing was that the breaking news showing this came in the middle of an American movie about the assisanation of the American President and the vice-president when the White House was attacked by bombs. The film was actually about how a man was being selected to go backin time to try and change the course of events and ensure thatt the deaths did not take place. It was just so co-incidental that as this movie was showing the white house blowing up, a plane was about to crash into a field and from all accounts was probably headed for the White House. Co-incidence??? Like how did the arab on the bridge shouting about his Arab brothers know that it was Arabs that had suicided, so soon?? How did he know??
Being one of a few white people (non-muslim) surrounded by 220 million Muslims in this country I am scared stiff what measures the U.S will take against Muslims generally (oe be perceived to be taking) and the backlash against us white people here and averywhere else we are vulnerable. The news flash tonight here is that America has cancelled 50% of its imports from Indonesia and there are ships stranded in Jakarta and off shore not knowing where to go or what to do. The reason goven is that America needs the money for recovery work, and the news here infers it is a sign of things to come agsinst muslim countries. You can feel the irritation in the air here. I will send you more news if you want it as it happens.
This was a wonderful account of a survivor and hero in his own way. What terrible thing to have to be witness to and apart of. I was actually at work in little old Winona Minnesota when the first accounts of what had happened came to my attention. Working in an insurance office we do not have a TV to watch, but I found out about it none the less.
My mother whom lives in Germany was sitting watching an afternoon program on TV in the Black Forest town of Rottweil when the news broke over there. What a small world we live in. She immediately picked up the phone to call and see if we were okay. Fearing that these strikes would continue all across this great nation she feared for our families safety. I assured her that we were all fine and not to worry, but pray.
My husband used to be in the military and is a veteran of Desert Storm, he has since retired, but our two daughters are in the military and proud members of the Minnesota National Guard. Our youngest as a matter of fact is in Georgia at Ft. Gordon attending her training and right away my thoughts turned to her. In my heart I know she was safe right then, but would these assaults continue? Would they systematically move across the country and kill more innocent people? Where would this end?
I am today very thankful for the safety of my family. This is only overshadowed by the great sadness that fills my heart for all those who have lost their loved ones. I pray that those who perished are with God and at peace, and that those who may still be trapped have the strength to hang on and that the rescuers will be led to them by Gods hand. God bless America and all of the rescue workers, EMT’s, Police officers and volunteers that are putting their lives on the line to bring home everyone that was there that morning.
Having been the spouse of a soldier deployed to war my heart goes out to the families that are preparing to send their loved ones off to avenge the horror. Trust in God and the capabilities of the US Military, for they are mighty, strong and on the right side of good and evil.
Hello. I enjoyed very much reading the account. Thank you for sharing it with all of us. My husband and I live in Alabama and we have felt so totally, totally helpless throughout this horrific event. He works in construction and I do believe it is driving him crazy that he cannot go up there and help the emergency workers. We just sit in front of the television, numb, not talking and then both talking at once. It is absolutely impossible to absorb. It is very difficult to get through even an hour without crying, at work or at home. We had a community prayer service this morning which seemed to help all of us and our flag is flying proudly at our home. I hope everyone in New York, Washington and all over the world know that we are all with you, praying and uniting together to do anything we can to help us move forward. I’ve always been a patriotic person, but this has brought out feelings in me that I had no idea existed. Take care and please tell your friend how happy I am that he was able to go home and be with his family. I’m sure many, many people would have felt the same way towards the man who was celebrating. I have to keep reminding myself that they are just pawns of evil, just like the suicide pilots and hijackers. May God be with us all.
Thank you SO much for your generous retelling of events from Tuesday. As I sit in my office on the West Coast listening to songs such as “I will remember you” and “We are the world” I read your writings and my emotions are going from tears to anger and back to tears. Your recap helped to bring back the reality of what happened in New York. Although we were all deeply impacted by this tragedy it is sometimes easier to go about life as usual and put it out of your head while working thousands of miles away. Your story helped remind me that New York and the East Coast are still very much in the midst of this horrendous assault, and my prayers are with all of you.
I am glad to hear that the Weatherly guys are all right. Do you know if Scott Gerham is safe? He is my broker and I am concerned about him. Your story is the first I have heard about the guys at Weatherly.
Thanks and God Bless, Jim Yes, Scott got out OK
Thanks for sharing your story and that of your friend. The ripple effect of this act of terrorism is incredible. Everyone has a story or has been effected in some way. Thankfully, the woman that I know who worked on the 32nd floor had jury duty on Tues morning. My in-laws own a business in Chinatown. I was so afraid for them until I knew they were safe. As this was unfolding, who knew if all of Manhattan was being attacked or the whole country?
Undoubtedly, we will know someone who is missing. My husband grew up in the shadows of those great buildings often using them as a subject for his photography class in high school. I bought maternity clothes there last year. I pray that the nice woman who waited on me is alive. I remember that day looking up at those mammouth buildings and being awed by how small I felt in comparison. The sense of smallness, powerlessness is renewed by this act. What can we do? Many are speaking of their anger. I understand, but can not fathom that killing more people will help. Find them, torture them, make them confess. Then kill them one by one. Not possible. We will drop bombs on innocent people who will end up feeling as we do now. This world is crazy. I feel small.
Thank you for your moving depiction and reminding me to hug my child. Here in California we are with you. God Bless.
Bless you and your friend.
Susan, LCSW Illinois
Thank you for sharing Bill’s story – our thoughts and prayers are with all who suffered in, and from, this terrible event! (I read this at Geocities.com)
This note is circulating here in Canada, and I hope you will consider passing it around to your friends and family.
Thanks for your description of your friend’s long walk and ride to safety. I am almost speechless when I read such accounts, and see them on the television. I will not allow myself to ever forget what has happened and I suppose I will tear up thinking about the people in the tower, the fire fighters and workers trying to save people, and the New Yorkers encouraging them in so many different ways. God bless you all.
I live in a small town in Vermont and have just attended a vigil service at the college that I work at. I want you to know there are many, many people thinking of the victims and their families.
God bless you all and this entire country.
I was very moved by your account, as I have been moved to the core of my being by so many accounts of this tragedy.
I feel nothing can justify the killing of innocent people (or for that matter guilty people even if that is a bit easier to stomach), whoever is behind the killing.
One would think that this week’s events might cause us to pause as a people and look at whether we are responsibly using our country’s position as a superpower in the best interests of this planet and it’s people. I am dismayed to see the overwhelming knee-jerk hind-brain response of the government and people of this country to this event, all yelling “We have to find out who’s responsible for this and kill them no matter what the cost.” Those most directly responsible are already dead. Their colleagues need to be identified and stopped from committing further acts of insanity. But if we dare to look deeper it becomes clear that our government is responsible for similar behavior, under the immensely hypocritical guise of “protecting world freedom”. Deeper than that, we are responsible, each one of us, for preferring to close our eyes to injustices so that we can have a comfortable life inside our bubbles of luxuries – luxuries paid for by the people and nature of the whole planet. We are responsible, for not having the integrity to sacrifice our comfort for the sake of the greater good and for not holding our government accountable for it’s actions. Nuff said. If you care to educate yourself about some of these issues you might want to look at some of the following websites: www.indymedia.org, www.alternet.org, www.thepaperboy.com (follow links to worldwide newspaper sites), www.michaelmoore.com. May you be your best and truest self in the challenging days that lie ahead.
R C earthlink.net
Just read your story on the Internet, and was glad to see something that turned out well. I live in Michigan and have been horrified over the events of the past several days. Our prayers are with everyone in New York and Washington D.C. and all of their families. I’ve been reading some of the profiles on Yahoo of those that perished.
We have our flags flying.
Thank you so much for being willing to share your experiences with us. This has been such an horrific time in our history, but for those of us who were not there, your story gives us a better understanding. I pray that God will be with you in the coming days when the press is no longer there keeping you and fellow New Yorkers in the forefront of our minds, and will comfort you in dealing with the loss, not only of friends and loved ones, but of security and peace.
Lisa, Nashville, TN
Thank you for sharing a very personal moment in your life. I live in Edmonton, Alberta and have watched the horror of Tuesday’s events on T.V. I cannot even begin to imagine what it must have been like to live through it. Know that my family and I pray for all the victims, their families and those who witnessed, and by the grace of God, survived. I can only marvel at the strength of character shown by the citizens of New York and Washington, the bravery of your emergency crewa. God bless all of you.
I must say I was very moved by the account’s of your friend’s story, may God Bless You!
I, too, feel as if I’m in the Military, even as a civilian. I work in Chicago, less than two blocks from the Sears Tower. On Tuesday, we all thought the Sears was going to be next. Even as a 22 year old woman, I feel that if Osama bin Laden, or any other terrorist, was put before me right now, I’d be willing to fight to the death. Likewise if I was on a plane being hijacked: I would, with all of the other passangers as well, I’m sure, pounce upon whomever was trying to hijack us and beat them down.
Thank God you didn’t make it in on time Tuesday. When I first saw the images on the TV in my bedroom as I was getting ready for work here in Cincinnati my first thought was, “Wow! Now that’s special effects!” I wondered what new movie promo this was. Seconds later, the second tower was hit and I stood there as dumbfounded and horrified as the rest of the world. First, I cried. Then, like the rest of this great nation I slowly started becoming angry.
My son is a corporal in the United States Marine Corps stationed at Camp Pendleton in Southern California. I remember back when he went in I worried that we may end up in some stupid fight and I could lose him to a battle over oil, or something like that. To me, that would be stupid as we have other options for oil than to obtain it from the Middle East. Canada, Mexico, and Alaska are all oil rich area’s of the world and are all close allies.
But this, the senseless slaughter and destruction of human life, the terror felt by all those aboard the flights and those who managed to survive the intial crash and explosions in the towers. For this, I would proudly send my son to battle and he will go to courageously defend his country’s honor and to get some pay back for this horrendous deed. Do I want to lose him? Of course not. I’d much rather have my son back than a flag and a medal. However, we must identify those responsible for this and then we must go and get them no matter what it takes. President Bush has my blessing and my son. I pray that he uses him and all our other sons and daughters wisely.
Yes, I agree. Iwo Jima was re-visited by those fireman who raised our flag. It was the first thought that came into my mind when I watched them on TV. I don’t think those guys meant it to look that way and I doubt that they even realized at the time that it did. I looked upon it as a very proud moment in the midst of so much pain and despair. It was eerily similar.
Yes, Osama bin Laden has done nothing more that to awake a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.
Someone’s going to see in great detail just how the United States of America get’s up, dusts itself off, and then kicks ass.
Best Wishes and Semper Fi
writing from Canada:
I was/am moved by your account of survival and terror. My condolences to all who lost a loved one in this horrible event.
God Bless America and the rest of the democratic world.
Ian, Saskatoon, Canada
Thank you for sharing this story, it made the events of last Tuesday more real because of it being one man’s story. While I agree that a sleeping giant has been awakened, I hope that we do not overreact in such a way as to make things worse. There are people in parts of the world that hold a hatred for the United States. I do not totally understand why that is, but surely part of the blame lies with the past actions of our country.
Yes, we need to do what we can to stop terrorism in the world. At the same time, we need to do what we can to improve the relationships with those people who we have, perhaps unwittingly, helped to oppress through our past actions. I think it is only in this way that we can truly heal the wounds and prevent future atrocities.
I’m glad your friend survived. I’m Irish but this tragedy has affected us all. I have a picture of the Yankee’s victory parade from last year. I can see many of the fan’s faces clearly. I can’t help but wonder how many of those are now dead. Oh God why.
god bless you
Very touching article. Thank you for a very human story. As I am an upstate NY’er, I did not know anyone involved in this tragedy, but I fear that much more violence is heading our way. God Bless, stay well!
Thank you for the article. Again I cry.
We are the largest Naval base in the nation and probably have the largest saturation of military instalations within a 50 mile radius. Our area is rocked again with the movement of our family, friends and neighbors. My daughter is 12 and on Tuesday her life changed and with each day she realizes how it effects her more and more. Tuesday was a long day for her.
They heard of the planes in school. Her Aunt (my sister) is a 767 pilot for American airlines as is her Uncle. I did not locate them until 2pm. As soon as I knew my daughter was at home I called her from work to let her know they were safe. She was relieved but still not fully grasping the implications. She did not even ask about her other Aunt (my other sister), Uncle and cousins who live in Kuwait.
My other sister’s husband is a manager of Hardee’s reastaurants in the middle east. I recieved and email from them assuring their safety the evening of that horrible day and was able to talk to her by phone from Kuwait on Wednesday. My daughter came home from school on Wednesday and that is when the reality of these events hit home. She said that her friend was upset because her father would not be home to take them trick-or-treating for Halloween as they had all expected. His carrier was turned around and heading back to the middle east.
My daughter and I retaliated in our small way by going to the mall in Va. Beach (Lynnhaven) and showing that we will not fear. It is near the master jet base(Oceana). On any given day you always see the planes dog-fighting overhead and doing touch and goes. Tonight we noticed them with new eyes. The mall was ghostlike and the sounds of the jets more prevailant than ever before and they were armed.
My family realizes we are just beginning this crusade and our community is up for the challenge. We remained strong when we lost a majority of our population for desert storm and will remain strong again. I pray for my parents because they have 4 daughters and one is an American Airline Pilot, one is in kuwait, and the other is in a military community. We are all prime targets that any terrorist would love to take a bite out of. Let them! There are a lot more of us to follow behind us and just like them, we pass down our personal resolve through generation after generation. Americans never forget!
Thank you for writing that article – it was very moving, very real – there are actually no words to describe what happened.
I live on the West Coat – so we can only watch TV with horror. You are right everyone knows someone there.
Your comment about having woken a sleeping giant is very right on!! We, here on the West Coast, are flying our flags in honor of those who are missing and who have been killed, and those who survived.
We are all very proud to be AMERICANS!!!!
Just note that that article by Gordon Sinclair was written approximately 30 years ago (1973 to be exact). Granted, many of his points are timeless and are just as relevant today (or perhaps even more so) as they were then, but I wanted to make sure that people didn’t think that this was just now being released in response to what occurred this week.
For the original transcript (which BTW was released as a record which enjoyed a certain of popularity on the radio at the time, considering it was so unusual) see the link below. You will also note that the version posted here was only a portion of the original text.
I saw a picture of a person falling from one of the buildings… Even though it was a picture, it will be burned in my mind forever. I hope the best for all of you.
Tom, Kansas City, Missouri
Thank you so much for an incredible report. I sit in the safety of my office in Savannah, Georgia and join with you in the perception of a Waking Giant. Please convey the best regards of Americans in the southern portion of our nation to all your co-workers – especially the one whose moving account you offer – and know that we are with you in spirit, a renewed spirit of patriotism that will be a mighty force with which to reckon.
Thank you again.
Thank you for writing this account of this horror in New York. The generosity of those who are helping in this crisis is immense. Stories will come out in the next days and months of those who have survived or witnessed this barbaric attack.
You are right. Nothing will ever be the same again. Too often, we have been politically correct and we should have been examining closely those people traveling on watch lists and putting up terrorist cells in this country. That has to come to an end.
We have many enemies – we need to reexamine our foreign policies, get our intellegence opperatives to work again -something sadly lacking in the last 8 years – we need to tighten our borders – they are a leaking sieve here in San Diego and across the Southwest and also tighten those entries from Canada. Unfortunately, we also have to look very closely at those trying to enter here from Middle Eastern countries. That nice looking man, woman, or couple may just be terrorists.
This attack took a year in planning. Where was our in-country intel? Our military is appalled by the lack of cohesive intelligence on China, the Middle East and Korea. Politically correct has been more important than examining who is working in America and who they may be trading intelligence to overseas.
Best wishes to you, your family and your fellow workers and New Yorkers.
San Diego, CA
A great story – fortunately with a good outcome. Just to let you know, the flags are flying here in California today. Remember New York! is the buzzword of the day.
I am relieved that all at Weatherly are safe and accounted for. It must have been a house of horrors. I had to smile, recalling how Bill would stroll in the office at 9:10am ! certainly on this day, it was a good thing.
The whole thing is so hard to believe. I have former coworkers who work at cantor fitz–and i fear for their safety. I’m sure you know some people too who might not have made it. It kind of makes the stock market seem so trivial. Still, out of the ashes, life does go on. This time is no exception.
Stay well, and thanks for the info.
I am still in shock. I still cannot fathom the devastation. I do not think I will ever comprehend the reasons, the evil, the mentality of people who could do this another human being. The stories and personal accounts are horrifying and become even worse when you realize that that is only one story among thousands of others who experienced the same if not worse.
My thoughts have been whirling these past few days. One minute I am numb and cannot move or think, staring at tv broadcasts or listening to news on the radio. Then, I am dumbfounded as I ask why? How could this happen? How could anyone do this? Then I become angry, in a rage. Mostly, though, I find myself just crying.
I do not know how to offer comfort, how to reassure anyone. I think one of the few reassurances I have right now is that our country will band together. As you said, we have wakened a giant. This act has unleashed the American spirit in way no one has ever seen – not even during our fight for freedom.
Thank you for your moving account of your friend’s experiences. You are so right- the sleeping giant has been awakened again. God Bless America.
Thank you for sharing Bill’s experience with the rest of us.
Sitting “safely” in the suburbs of Chicago, I can only say that I was overcome with fear and remorse as most of the nation was at the sights and sounds on the tv, radio and internet – of the unspeakable disaster unfolding before our eyes the past three days.
Reading your story helps to put “a name – a life” behind the numbers we see on the screen and hear on the radio.
Unfortunately, I sincerely doubt that it will have an impact on the people who believe what they did was necessary (the cell members still alive) – I wouldn’t know how to reach those people in words – but perhaps it will help to set the resolve of those of us who read it, to apply pressure and keep applying pressure to our government to prevent something like this from ever happening to anyone, anywhere in the world ever again. Regardless of anyone’s religious or political convictions, no one has the right to annihilate innocent people. Not ever.
America needs to understand the way which we are viewed outside our borders – we need to know how to change those views, otherwise we will remain the target (sitting duck?) that we are today. Maybe your story will help change someone’s views.
Your account only fuels what terrible scenes I have in my mind, of the carnage and destruction – I can barely imagine what people have and are going thru and to offer sincere condolences is so appropriate, but seems so insignificant. I am happy that Bill escaped.
My wife Karen, our nine year old daughter Aishia and I, only left Manhattan Monday morning to return to the UK after a four day vacation – we both adore New York for its vitality, people, lifestyle and scale and we had a wonderful time.
Looking at the photos we have of our visit, especially those taken of Karen and Aishia in the Plaza and looking up at WTC, I just cannot accept what has happened in such a short moment, to all that we left behind. Of all things I cannot comprehend that the twin towers and some of the surrounding buildings no longer exist. And what of the massive loss of life?
I am not a religious man at all, but it appears that religion is part of the cause – that also I do not understand, as many races and religions have been directly or indirectly hurt by this disaster.
The Buddha once said “Evil-doers are not wicked by nature. They do evil because they are ignorant”. How apt.
Our deepest regards and sympathy to all New Yorkers, Americans and all people affected by this horrific event.
Mark , lineone.net
My name is Bertha M. Chaveco. I am from Cuba and I have been living in this country just for three years. I would like to give you my condolence and I would like to let you know that every night since April 1998 I thank God for allow me to be in this great country. My husband and I we are deeply sad for what had happened.
Our thoughts are with you and we the american people.
If you want to writte me back you can
Bertha & Carlos
Barry, I am Gloria, close friend of Barbara and Bob. Barbara sent me your article and I was so moved. I am grateful for the opportunity to have read this and compliment you on what has to have been exceedingly difficult to write about. I wish you and Wendy a good and peaceful New Year. Aol.com
Your article on your friend’s personal experience was excellent. I also very much appreciated your page on “how this came to be”. Thank you for taking the time to do both pages.
I do hope none of us ever have to share this type of experience again. You stated you were safe and sound ……… so was I (all the way in Wisconsin), but in reality this tragic effort has certainly made us all realize none of us are really safe and sound. We just happened to not be “there” at that particular “time”. But what is the potential of a “next time”? Where will we be then?
We have followed these historical events. Our deep sympathy for the American friends will certainly bring all of us together in out fight against terror.
Barry & Wendy,
We are so glad to hear that you two are OK. I hope that all of the folks from your main office are OK as well, but it will be quite a challenge trying to get back to “normal” (if we are ever “normal” again).
Please keep us up-to-date about how you’re doing. A bit of good news from us, Tom and I are going to have another baby in April. We’re excited, but a bit apprehensive as well. It’s hard to bring a child into such an unstable world.
Thank you so much for posting this. For you and Bill, I hope you know how many of your fellow Americans are with you in spirit. We are shocked and saddened by it all and most of us cannot find the words to express it. Our thoughts are with you and everyone back there having to deal with it in your front yard.
So glad to hear you are all right. Cathy and I had just returned from vacation when the mayhem started. Kaho made it out but I’m afraid there are other former Liberty Mutual co-workers who are among the missing.
Tom in Boston
Eileen Walters sent me your amazing story. Thanks for writing it. Hope tomorrow and the markets go well for you tomorrow. pla u.arizona.edu
My brother’s name is Barry also, so I actually double-checked to see if that was your name before responding! That’s fun!! Onto the more sobering issue, I don’t know why I’m even doing this, I guess I just want to say I’m so happy for your friend. Also the contrast between the two meetings of Arabs is astonishing! My husband and I spent our first year of marriage in Israel, and had neat connections with Arabs (and I’m Jewish!- though I am a Messianic Jew-if there is hate it will be twicefold for me!!) We did also have some scary occurrences as well.
Anyway, I grew up in NY, and I guess we’re all horrified no matter where we come from! I hope that you can come to know peace in the midst of the craziest storm, this side of the holocaust.
God richly bless you and your family with Himself,
Another Mourner, Leah,
I work in Irvington, New York right on the Hudson and saw the first building come down… The whole office complex on Bridge Street was is shock. People from every type of business looking directly at the devastation down the Hudson river and at the same time hovering by nearby offices to peer in office windows and screen doors, in huddled masses to hear the news on television. Mexican construction workers, Russian programmers at IWON.com, graphic designers and restaurant chefs…looking at what was, and shall forever be, the most devastating act of cruelty and terrorism on our beautiful country.
Yesterday my school mate Maria’s brother Will came to my office for help. Their brother Joe worked at Cantor Fitzgerald, on the 104th floor. They believe he has perished. I scanned a photo of him and Photoshop’d his daughter out of the photo…we agreed taking his daughter out of the photo would help in keeping the focus on him. We debated this…but the resolution was clear. We are not trying to evoke a sense of sadness, we are desperately trying to find Joe…there is enough sadness already. It finally hit home…someone in White Plains was affected… and I could finally help. I spoke to Joe?s Mom on Thursday Morning…She was unintelligible and crying..My heart just broke. I could not bare to think what a mother who had lost a son was feeling. Having Will and his friends there in my office on Friday hovering over my desk and Art Directing me an Art Director of all things was beautiful. The message on the flyer was clear.. Line one read…”Missing” (these were words of hope) Line two read …”World Trade Center, Building One, 104th floor” These were words of reality, for we all know in our hearts that Joe may in deed be gone. The photo may be missing his daughter…but his daughter will be missing a loving father forever.
God Bless Joe and his family
An open letter to a terrorist: Well, you hit the World Trade Center, but you missed America. You hit the Pentagon, but you missed America. You used helpless American bodies, to take out other American bodies, but like a poor marksman, you STILL missed America. Why? Because of something you guys will never understand. America isn’t about a building or two, not about financial centers, not about military centers, America isn’t about a place, America isn’t even about a bunch of bodies. America is about an IDEA. An idea, that you can go someplace where you can earn as much as you can figure out how to, live for the most part, like you envisioned living, and pursue Happiness. (No guarantees that you’ll reach it, but you can sure try!) Go ahead and whine your terrorist whine, and chant your terrorist litany: “If you can not see my point, then feel my pain.” This concept is alien to Americans. We live in a country where we don’t have to see your point. But you’re free to have one. We don’t have to listen to your speech. But you’re free to say one. Don’t know where you got the strange idea that everyone has to agree with you. There’s a spirit that tends to take over people who come to this country, looking for opportunity, looking for liberty, looking for freedom. Even if they misuse it. You guys seem to be incapable of understanding that we don’t live in America, America lives in US! American Spirit is what it’s called. And killing a few thousand of us, or a few million of us, won’t change it. Most of the time, it’s a pretty happy-go-lucky kind of Spirit. Until we’re crossed in a cowardly manner, then it becomes an entirely different kind of Spirit. Wait until you see what we do with that Spirit, this time. Sleep tight, if you can. We’re coming….
I’ve heard the hackneyed excuse more times than I care to remember: These bad or sick people twisted the moral messages of Islam or Christianity or Judaism. These religions teach nonviolence, peace and love. Bullshit! The fact is that there are plenty of good religious people out there but…The good religious people are the ones doing the twisting. Here’s my point: The founders of Christianity, Judaism and Islam had twisted morals and that is reflected in their religious texts – the bibles and koran. So called modern, good, religious people re-twist the meanings of these twisted texts to try to derive straight untwisted morals. This untwisting is euphemistically labeled reinterpretation. The twisted texts remain, in the perception of the religious rank and file, as god’s sacred word. As long as these texts are held out to be sacred, the dangerous reality is that some read these texts and take them at their face value – the sick and twisted morals of the twisted authors/founders are thought to be god’s word. Holding these twisted texts as god’s word inevitably leads to horrible consequences like this past Tuesday’s.
Okay, I have to jump in, here.
I’m still babbling in shock, so make allowances. (Four co-workers and a neighbor were on those Boston flights, and I watched them building those towers.)
This is NOT a war. The attacks were not an act of war.
An act of war is a strategic operation to benefit a people by those possessing a legal charter to represent those people.
These attacks were raw violence motivated by nothing more than blind hatred, instigated by those who have no charter whatsoever to represent anyone, much less those groups “designated” to rationalize the abandonment of civilization while indulging barbaric, primitive reactions.
And this has nothing to do with Palestine or Islam.
Without going into details about the history of Osama Been Lyin’, I would consider that Islam is more an excuse than a cause. Islam is a convenient way to get young and gullible people to jump onto an aircraft and commit suicide “in the name of Allah”.
Notice that Bin Lyin’ hasn’t ever gone to see Allah, hisself. But he’s plenty willing to send others.
The most appropriate response — the only one that can make a major impact on the future of terrorism, it for the world to seize this unique opportunity to build a global coalition which, more than just mouthing platitudes, would get their hands dirty joining together to apprehend and punish the guilty parties as a united whole, standing together against those who rationalize random, indiscriminate violence.
Or, in more militant terms: Drop the whole planet on them!
Glad your friends got out OK. I enjoyed your storytelling. Amazing stuff. Perhaps almost as amazing is that you’ve gotten almost 51,000 hits on it in 3 days.
Thank God that you and your friend are safe. I am praying for a calm and measured response not only from our government but also from our citizens. May God’s blessings continue for you and yours.
Thank you for sharing and thank God your friend was spared.
Thanks, Barry. Your piece the other day was very moving.
All of my prayers go out to everyone within your company, families and friends. I am glad to hear that your coworkers survived this horrible massacre. I have a lot of friends that worked in the WTC, which thank God they are all home safe and sound.
My father is a part of New York Finest and has been at ground zero for days helping the best he can. Me and one of my coworker collected money and bought supplies for the brave men, woman and dogs at ground zero.
We brought the supplies to WBLI/WBAB last night. It was so overwhelming to see so many people pitching in and donating so many supplies. We were there for a while and pitched in our selves. Then three of us went down to Port Jefferson to sit by the water, where we met five other extremely nice people and lit candles and said Our Father’s for all of the innocent people that lost the lives.
It was so touching I couldn’t help but cry. Again all of my prayers go out to you, your coworkers and their families along with many others.
God Bless America!
Danielle, Port Jefferson, NY
i’m thankful for people like you for sharing a story like this. I am consumed by this horror. my family and i donate gatorade, food, clothing, blood. it is not enough. when will i be rid of the guilt i feel because i can sip on my morning coffee, enjoy a hot meal, hug my children? i mourn for all the victims and their families. it is not enough. trying hard to teach my children not to hate.
I am from northwestern Canada, far from the attacks. And yet, I feel like I am right next door. Your writing on the event was very well done, and I feel for your friend who was there. I have actually been to NYC, and seen the majesty of the towers, and I think the vision of them collapsing will live with me forever. It’s really hard to know what to say, but please just know that Canada and Canadians share your pain and grief, and we will do whatever we can to help.
All Americans are in my prayers.
Thank you! I broke down this morning after seeing the CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald on the Today Show weep as he talked about losing over 700 of his “family.” There is a grieving process that all Americans will experience in the coming months. Your writing has helped me start that process and head down the road to healing.
Montereyinc.com I, too broke down when I saw that on CNBC. My counterpart at Cantor was a great guy named Bill Meehan. After we took opposite sides of an issue in 2 articles at TheStreet.com in late March, we were supposed to go out for a beer. We never got around to it . . . I was right for about 2 months; then it was his view that proved correct. If you are curious, my piece is at: http://www.thestreet.com/comment/techfiles/1359327.html And his is at: http://www.thestreet.com/comment/themeehannotes/1358020.html
I received this picture this morning about ten minutes before stumbling across your site.
Lisa Lawrenceville, GA 1-800-HELP NOW Red Cross 253-274-0432 NY Firefighters Fund The image I used in the piece came form Lisa . . . Thanks!
Thank you for sharing this story. Many of us see what happened on TV and can’t comprehend the reality. It is like many families that know their loved one is dead but without a body can’t believe it. Why people think that killing themselves and others is a better way to deal with life I will never understand.
God bless everyone! I thank God that so many people made it out safely. My prayers are filled with hope and peace for all.
Pam, Grand Rapids, MI
I agree with your thoughts. It does seem like we are all in the military. Especially the brave civilians who brought down the plane in Pa. Our world will never be the same for sure. This time, it’s a wake up call that will stop terrorism forever.
Thank you for sharing your friend’s plight.
Ritz…we weep for all of New York and Washington D. C., the dead and the families that are left behind,,,that something like this of unspeakable horrific magnitude that is man-induced comes to our very soil is way beyond comprehension…may these lunatics be meted their just destiny…NY is strong and resilient …it will come back stronger and even a better New York…..
My reaction to your piece, my reaction to ALL the eyewitness stories I’ve heard from friends, acquaintances, and strangers, my reaction to what I saw on TV Tuesday…is that our mealy-mouthed politicians whose foolish foreign policy decisions over decades sowed hatred for America around the world and whose negligence allowed Tuesday’s atrocity to happen do not deserve to represent the citizens of this country. The heroes in NYC were the ordinary people who were caught in hellish chaos and the rescue workers who have tried to pick up the pieces.
The only politician who did not make me want to spit was Giuliani. He seemed real and sincere. The rest of the Congressional clowns with their prepared speeches, Bush reading from a TeleprompTer–they should all be voted out of office next election, every single one of them. THEY LET US DOWN. So did the FBI and the CIA and the NSA all the other alphabet soup bozos. So did the airlines more obsessed with packing asses in seats than with getting those asses to their destinations alive.
I would hope this Sleeping Giant will wake up to the fact that we have allowed shameless charlatans and greedhead corporations a free lunch at our expense for too long. When it was just our tax money, our schools, and other domestic problems it was bad enough. But Tuesday was what the military likes to call a CLUSTERFUCK of the first magnitude.
I’m not out for “Arab” blood–not all Middle Easterners are Arabs, not all Arabs are Muslims–only for that of the actual perpetrators and their enablers. I am FAR more angry with the betrayal from within. I pay taxes and I give my allegiance to my government and in return AT A MINIMUM I expect not to be turned into a flying bomb or incinerated at my desk at work. If the bastards in Washington can’t guarantee me that they’ve seen the last dime of tax money from me they’ll ever get, and the last vote.
And if they keep screwing up–if they carpet bomb Afghanistan, a country already in the stone age, to get to one man who may be no more dangerous than the men HE has trained and dispersed around the globe INCLUDING into our own country…if they try to deprive American citizens of civil liberties in the name of “security”…I’m going to do my damndest to emigrate. I’m almost 50 years old and I have been anything from mortified to horrified by the actions of my government since I was 10 years old and told I might not wake up the next day because of something going on in a place called Cuba.
I don’t want to live in a country that tries to be the Cop of the World and does that by screwing up in one country after another. There are enough problems in this country–kids graduating from COLLEGE with skills that once wouldn’t have gotten someone passed out of 8th grade!–without us presuming to tell ANYONE else how to run their lives. I just want to live mine. If I have to do it in Australia or Canada, countries that mind their own fucking business and will let me mind mine, so be it.
I’m getting too old to wait for this country to smarten up and stop electing one idiot after another. All the calls to ‘back the President’–from what I’ve seen he’s got an IQ that would embarass Chippy the Chimp. My life in his hands? NO THANKS. If he follows the course his Daddy’s advisors are sure to set for him–he’s not smart enough to even speak from his heart on the night of a horrible crisis, of course when he does as someone said he sounds like Sheriff Andy of Mayberry and not the leader of the free world–he’s going to turn the whole country into a fuel-laden plane about to hit a solid object. Excuse me if I don’t plan to be on it.
Sorry about the rant, bet you’re sorry you asked for my comments :). But the entire government is not worth ONE of the firefighters who went into the WTC and never came out. America has some wonderful people–when are they going to get angry at being represented to the world by morons? I can’t be the only one.
Thanks…very glad your friends and co-workers are all safe. Take care, Chris in CA
This is from a Canadian newspaper and IS worth sharing……. America: The Good Neighbor. firstname.lastname@example.org
I just read your article . It makes you suffering when reading, it is quite intense. Although we have seen and are still looking at these unforgettable. surreal pictures from the US, we feel so concerned as if we were living next to you.
We would like to express our grief and deep thoughs for the victims , their families, their friends. We do share with the United States of America the feelings of shock,sadness and anger- you are not alone -the world will stand behind you.
Nearly an hour ago Europe was standing still. We had stopped working for a three minutes silence break. Europe ist mourning America’s dead and all the grief caused.
But we should not forget: No anxiety should reign – but everything should beat anxiety. If people will believe in freedom and love and hold together, the bad will have no chance but will vanish.
PS I hope my English is not too bad ..two other things: Today I got the news of a friend of mine about the birth of her beautiful little girl and the joy and thankfulness of her and her husband.
Also, I celebrated my 36th birthday on Wednesday. Initially I thought about cancelling everything after what had happened the day before but I had invited some good friends,. so I said to myself-it might be that we do not celebrate but I will be with friends however. Although the main issues that evening were the terrible events in the US, my friends made me smile with funny gifts, we had a nice dinner and good talks- I consider this birthday evening as a very special one this year and I will never ever forget this day.
What I want to say with this is that there will always be these little moments in life that make it worth living despite all terrible things going on in the world.
All the best Karolin
My heart is filled with pain and i just still cannot believe what man is capable of doing to another human being. My very deepest symapthy goes to all americans especially to the victims and their shattered families. How horrific and no words can ever express how one can live with such a tragic incident. May God grant eternal rest to the victims. I pray for them and their dear families. Unfortunately i cannot do much from hear in Malta but i promise to remember America in my prayers. When you are a parent, and have family, you can understand more what these poor victims went through.
I can only imagine how neverending those moments were. I cry my heart out and wish i could turn back time only to save those innocent people. God bless us all and america and its people. I personally have been to america twice and i look forward to visit again, but right now, at least i feel, thinking of america will never be the same again.
Again i want to express my heartfelt condolenses to the family victims. May God keep his hands on all of us.
Pierre, Maltese Citizen
married and a 10 month old son, and i thank God for every day he gives me to share with everyone.
Hi, Firstly l am from England.
The first l knew of the events in NY was when my daughter rang me from home to say a plane had hit the World trade Centre. I told the guys in the office and they said it was a wind up things like that dont happen. We put the TV on in the office only to see the second plane hit. Nobody spoke we looked on in disbelief No work was done that afternoon.
I have read your article and would just like to send you and all the American people our heart felt sorrow on the tragic events that have happened to your country.
There are no words that can express our feelings on this Act of War for that is how it seems to many. We are with you in our thoughts and prayers.
Love Elaine, uk
Thanks for your web site.
I am certainly happy for you that you and your friend are ok.
I am still in disbelief over what madness has happened. So many people affected, why?
Telling you what a tragedy this is may at first seem superfluous, but believe you me it is a tragedy. World war three may be the enemy’s objective, but if our resolve acts swiftly and surely that catastrophe may be diverted.
I am 44 years old to put things in perspective, conservative politically. At least that’s the pigeon hole my beliefs get stuck in by those who create distinctions.
I grew up in India – I was there for about 12 years from birth to 16 years old. Oh yeah – I was born in Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. Growing up I saw the definition of large scale destitute poverty – the likes this nation has not seen since perhaps the Great Depression. We were fortunate to travel this earth and see how lucky we are to be Americans. From having milk to drink, to TV to watch, to well equipped hospitals. This nation is the best in the world – flat out the best.
I think that in the last twenty years or so this country has grown soft and taken it’s good fortune for granted. Certain types of people have permeated the government and allowed it to become weak and take on the mindset of apologist. Of course, the public keep electing those who meet their expectations.
It would be my hope and prayer that one result of this World Trade Center Horror will be that this nation takes to teaching its young the meaning of this country. To require every child to read the Founding Fathers papers, write essays on the Founding Fathers principles, and to do the arithmetic to figure out where they would be if those documents lost their meaning.
The death of those untold thousands should not be in vain or lose their meaning. We are a peace loving people and we let down our guard – the evil that destroyed so many must be vanquished.
Retribution should be certain and severe but not without mercy – I think that if the nations that beget this ask for mercy we should give them mercy so long as we remain on site for a couple of generations to remove their inbred brainwashing.
After World War Two we occupied both our foes lands, they were in complete submission. Now they are our competitors – both in products and culture.
It is ironic in a historical sense that civilization began where the insane people created their dream of harming us in our World Trade Center. Perhaps the sense in all of this will be for us Americans – and our allies – to return civilization to its cradle and nurture freedom as it grows.
I could go on for a long time about this country and what it means to me, instead let me close in giving some links that I find worth reading.
Good luck to you, spend time with family and your former Marine friend – ask him what this country means to him….
Thanks for this opportunity, you are welcome to use this letter, or parts of it, if you would please credit my name. However please omit my e-mail address and town/state. 😮 )
Robert, Laurel, Maryland National Archives and Records Administration Home Page http://www.nara.gov/ Charters of Freedom Exhibit http://www.nara.gov/exhall/charters/charters.html Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights The Federalist Papers http://memory.loc.gov/const/fed/fedpapers.html
We seem so far away on our little Island in England.
But our sense of grief and utter disbelief is as great as yours. Surreal is certainly the word which has passed my lips so many times over the past few days, watching the pictures on TV one almost expects to see Bruce Willis march out of the building like a film.
This isn’t a film. This is real and will certainly change the lives of us all forever!!!!!
It is so hard as a mother to try and impress on my young teenage son that not only has he watched history being made that this is no film, whilst there are many, many hero’s they are real ones and not Hollywood made.
I am so glad you, and all your collegues got home safe to have that hug from your kids. Puts life into perspective doesn’t it. The last thing many of those poor people in that building did was to call home and just say I LOVE YOU to the people they care about. That is one of the things that will come out of this, I will certainly remember to tell those I love just how much they do mean to me.
The whole world is in deep shock. I only hope that love and deep understanding of human suffering will overcome the evil that was committed on Tuesday 11th September 2001.
Sue from the UK
God Bless you and your friends. Our prayers are with all of you, New York and D.C… I am also awaiting word on a missing loved one from one of the Towers.
Thank you for sharing your story. I live in a tiny town (pop. 300) in eastern Washington and I can only imagine what it has been like for you and other New Yorkers. I can not get the images from tv out of my mind. To have witnessed it firsthand had to have been horrific. I close my eyes and still see the bodies falling from the building. I pray for all America and especially those who have suffered.
I am just moved by your story and accounting of your friend Bill. I live in WA state and watched in horror as the 2nd plane came at the 2nd tower. It was 5:45 AM here. I just happened to not be able to sleep that morning after my husband went to work.
I feel so many emotions, as do all the Americans. Your story and web site was terrific! I have never been to NYC. And for me to be able to get linked to the site that showed the towers in all their glory was wonderful, and it put things in an even more REAL perspective for me. I also know as you stated that our country has awaken and its coming together stronger and prouder than ever before.
Thank you for your story and I am so glad to know your friend made it out alive. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
I was fascinated by the account you have given, and emotionally affected. I am an American working in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. I am proud to be an American, and I agree with your comments about ‘ waking the sleeping giant ‘. I hope that America finds those responsible, all of them, and punishes them. As you said, we have tolerated much for many years.
This event requires action.
I just felt the need to reply to this.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
As a Canadian citizen, I’ve always taken comfort in the fact that if “those Americans ever started a war, we’d be safe. Because we’re Canadian and no one hates Canadians”. Not anymore. I’m ashamed to have even thought that.
The events of the last few days have affected us profoundly. We feel your pain and fear just the same.
I remember my world almost stopping on Tuesday when I first heard of the plane crashes on television. The entire day at work, customers came in with fear and sadness in their eyes, waiting to get home to their families. Flags are flying at half-mast, stores closing early.
We talk about it as if it happened to us. We’re uncertain of the future, still paralyzed by disbelief. Everyone I know is touched by this tragedy. My uncle is president of an accounting firm in Toronto, who does (did) business with a brokerage firm in the South Tower of WTC. He lost friends and collegues. My mother runs the emergency room of one of the busiest hospitals in Canada, and had to put the contingency plan into effect, as we were expecting to treat American citizens.
I personally know of a few paramedics who went with the relief convoy to New York. Things like that make me proud to be Canadian, to jump at the chance to help. And I realize that Americans would do the same for us. I’ve noticed that these events have brought us (and will bring us) closer together in the years to come. No more of that “stupid Canadian-arrogant American” ideology. And with thoughts of blind, violent revenge racing over the continent like wildfire, we must keep our heads level.
Already we see images of small children burning American flags and toting machine guns in other nations, taught to hate what they don’t know. I’m a strong advocate of accountability and justice, but I also recognize that this vicious cycle of hatred and terror cannot be stopped with a sky full of bombs.
My words may make me sound like a pacifist, but I see the bigger issue. I believe we should look towards the courage and heroism of the American and Canadian peoples for dealing so well with so overwhelming an event.
Hopefully, this will allow us to do justice with a steady hand. I’ll leave you with something to think about, a disturbing prophecy from Nostradamus, 16th century philosopher, that has been spreading across the Internet the past few days. I’m sure you’ve seen it already. “In the City of God there will be a great thunder, Two brothers torn apart by Chaos, while the fortress endures, the great leader will succumb” , “The third big war will begin when the big city is burning”
NOTE: This “prophecy” turned out to be a hoax, written after the vents of 9/11. Also, “I know not with what weapons world war three will be fought, but world war four will be fought with sticks and stones.” -Albert Einstein I would like to say that your personal recollection of the events of September 11th was well written and well read, and inspired me to write this piece here. Please feel free to respond to it, and inform me if you would like to post any part of it. Also, please pass along my sympathy and respect to any victims and their families that you may know of. Thank You.
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
thank you for a very descriptive account of your experiance on that horrible day. I am not familiar with the manhatten area yet in reading your account, I was actually able to visualize where you were and what was going on around you as if I had been there myself. I thank god that I,or any of my family or friends,were not there. My heart goes out to you and anyone who may be missing from your circle of associates.
Sincerely, Jon at pacbell.net
The stories of Arabs celebrating are very likely to be imaginary. We often get stories like that in India eg Muslims celebrating Pakistan’s success in a cricket match vs India…which are more to do with the general perception rather than reality…along with the usual rumours of poisoned water supply etc.And if so many people knew beforehand how come the US govt didn’t? In any case, are you sure that people in the US really know what an Arab looks like? We hear reports of Sikhs being mistaken for Muslims!
Best wishes, Ashutosh India.com
I haven’t any idea who you are, but I am incredibly touched by you and your friend’s first hand story. I thank you deeply for taking the time (maybe it’s your way to heal) and sharing these moments with the rest of the country.
I live in the Phoenix metro area, and I have been saying thank God I work in out in the desert away from all the “rich” targets of interest. These last days have sparked to life incredible feelings in me, my family and friends out west, and I hope you know that even though you are thousands of miles distant, we are all Americans, and we are waiting for the best way to help.
Today I found a page on Amazon.com where direct donations are being taken, and I pulled out my wallet and made a contribution. I mean this in every sense, all it takes is an email, and the people of my community will rally to provide any relief supplies that maybe needed.
We have arranged a blood mobile to come to our community, and our church has held two services to pray for the families, and for more survivors to be saved. You are at ground zero as they are calling it, and all it takes is an email…….a few keystrokes and our community will start packing boxes……
Thanks again for the wonderfully written story, and please pass along to your friend, my congratulations on his successful escape.
I believe that U.S, being the super power of the world, should not make any premature decisions. Attacking or accusing anyone (or everyone) just shows panic and may effect our strong reputation over the world.
QUOTE: I also get a strong sense that a slumbering giant has been awakened. We have foolishly tolerated much in the world, We have foolishly tolerated much in the world, more annoyed than angered by small acts of hostility. No longer. UNQUOTE
I remembered thinking the same thing when I first heard of the attack. I say, “Let it be so”. I’m retired military, just retired last year. I spent a week in New York City for Fleetweek. I do remember the warmth and generosity of the citizens there. I felt welcomed, honored, and safe.
I’ll put the uniform on again in a heartbeat.
My prayers to the citizens and survivors in NYC, to the fallen heros, and they’re families.
Regards from a Small Town Country Boy from way out West.
Hi; I guess I wouldnt be considered your typical commentator of any articles you have written, But I must say I thoroughly enjoyed your article entitled, Personal Recollection. I do not mean in any way to make light of anything that happened at this time, but that one part about being on the bridge, when you told them to just throw that arab over the side, That was priceless. I myself would probably have given him a shove on over the bridge. I happened up on your article by chance whle surfing thru the internet.
At any rate, I just wanted to tell you that you do have a marvelous sense of humor given the circumstances that all of you have been through.
I’m a reader – always have been, and your “recollections” piece is about the best I have yet read on events of 9/11.
Exceptionally personal, moving and involving. The part about celebratory Arabs was especially disturbing – is it corroborated? And if so, why haven’t national media picked up on it?
Browsing Op-Ed pieces listed on Yahoo, came across one by Ann Coulter (Yahoo site doesn’t say what paper she writes for) which begins as eulogy for Barbara Olson (who I also remember fondly from the massive election coverage – funny how modern media makes you feel close to talking heads that are total strangers), then goes on —
“The nation has been invaded by a fanatical, murderous cult. And we welcome them. We are so good and so pure we would never engage in discriminatory racial or “religious” profiling.
People who want our country destroyed live here, work for our airlines, and are submitted to the exact same airport shakedown as a lumberman from Idaho. This would be like having the Wehrmacht immigrate to America and work for our airlines during World War II. Except the Wehrmacht was not so bloodthirsty.”
Seems like this theme of “the enemy is already here” could use developing. I’m NOT in favor of bashing all Muslims, deplore the WWII Japanese internment, don’t want to see protests outside US Mosques. But were there actually Arabs celebrating on our streets 9/11? What is the truth about Anti-Americans of various persuasions living here, and how do we handle that as we move towards what has been reported today as “a war footing”?
Would be interested in reading your view on this subject.
Anyway, that wasn’t my main takeaway from your article, which was much more encouraging for a human view of your co-worker/friend’s struggle to cope with a watershed day in American experience. I hope to read and hear more about you – have perused your site and been impressed by your remarkable career path and reinventions, as well as impressed by your market views. If you are building an audience, I’m one more who has bookmarked you.
All the best,
Thank you for your “Personal Recollection from a Day of Horror” account at your website. Yahoo listed this as part of its full coverage of the events that have shaken our nation and the world. I live in Michigan, have little knowledge of NYC, and reading stories like yours (and your friend’s) helps me get a handle on just exactly what has happened.
Thank you also for your link to the World Trade Center Virtual Panorama. I’m planning to send the link to my family, friends and coworkers to help them see a part of what we’ve lost. The views from the top floors were chilling, when I considered the tourists visiting the Trade Center that morning.
Again, I just wanted to thank you. There is so little I feel I can do, and praying for everyone and empathizing with everyone seems to help. I’m scheduled to give blood later on…. (Just not enough room for it! Isn’t that amazing?!) My household is collecting clothing, books, stuffed animals, etc. to bring to one of the local aid agencies, who will see that it makes it to NYC. In the meantime, we have two flags flying outside our house. (My housemate never opened up the flag she received when she retired from the Navy, and it was unfurled Tuesday evening.) We do what we can.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones. I’m so glad your friend is okay. Take care.
Amy, Kent City, MI
My name is Carol and I work at the Roseburg, Oregon, Veteran’s Hospital. I was looking over articles on the internet today while at work and came across your web site.
I would just like to say: “Thank you” for writing your message about what happened on Tuesday. Even though Oregon is clear across the country, people here feel this great loss to our country.
Well, I don’t want to take up too much of your time, as I said I just wanted to thank you for what you wrote and let you know that the people of New York, Washington and everywhere else that was directly effected by these terrorists are in our prayers and thoughts.
I just wanted to tell you what a comfort reading you and your friend’s account of the WTC attack has been. I’ve been wrestling with this tragedy in my mind, not getting any sleep, not eating, jumping out of my skin at every aerial sound over my head in my neighborhood. I’m just trying so hard to make some sense out of it all.
I’m so sorry for all of the lives lost. The compassion of your friend and the people he met along the way, are among the few stories that provide some kind of salve for the wound left in my life as an American.
Thank you for sharing your story. It’s with your story that the tears finally come from my eyes….something I needed to do, a release.
Bless you, and please thank your friend for allowing you to share his story for me. Please tell him I am finally making some sense out of this ordeal, and I am gaining hope by hearing stories like his…
Thanks for sharing
thank you for taking the time to set up this account. I am very sorry. I sit here safe in Illinois trying to suck up as much information as I can. And I am so sorry.
Thanks for your story. Moving AND appreciated.
R Black, Mississippi
My first reaction, after the first shock and horror, was DANM IT! I’m 56 years old, I can’t serve in Army anymore because BY GOD I certainly want to.
Big Al outside Chicago
Your article about the wtc tragedy…
Thank you for undertaking the task of trying to scribe your buddy’s surreal ordeal, and for your own input,as well.This helps me visualize things, since I can’t really conceptualize all this( suicidal/homicidal ,gigantic Molotov Cocktail hurtling at all the innocents) . Thank you and my best wishes to you and your friend as we try and snake back to (a forever tainted sense of Stateside) normalcy.I guess I will have my own battles to fight, since although Indian, I’ll have to stave of hostile stares intended for Arabs(totally understandable!).I am totally bowled over by the fact that even in these trying times, the Prez and other figures of authority,on the telly, are incessantly urging people to take it easy on stateside Arabs…an amazing act of grace,compassion and understanding.That notwithstanding, I hope the guilty bastards are shown zero mercy.I also hope this travesty heralds the end of the Taliban…thanx for letting me vent! Peace,Love&Light….~~VK~~
Glad to hear you weren’t visiting headquarters. a friend of mine walked down from the 46th floor of the first tower. On the stairwell, he saw them bringing down people with their skin burned off. Then he saw firemen walking up to their deaths.
The Israeli Dimension
Thanks for posting that vivid account of the destruction of the beautiful Twin Towers. It gives me hope that many other people may also have escaped the destruction.
Regards, Xana Longmont, Colorado
Thank you so much for the beautiful recounting of yours and your friend’s horrendous day on Tuesday. It was beautifully written and the urgency and sincerity of your experiences was incredible to read. Thank you for taking time to write and let those of us who were far and safe from the tragedy to experience it with your eyes.
There is absolutely no words that I can come up with to explain the shock and horror that you guys must of had on Tuesday (Sept. 11, 2001). Although I live in Oregon my heart is filled with hurt and anger at the people who have attempted to scar our country. Your site is absolutely wonderful, and you wrote out the stories of you and your friend in a why that made me I felt like I was there. God bless you guys, and my heart and thoughts go out to all the victims and families…We WILL survive!
Stephany from Glide, Oregon
May God bless your country – USA – New York, and your people Tony, netvigator.com
Excellent piece. Thanks for sharing it.
Hi Barry. Really grateful to hear from you. I was a bit afraid to call. So grateful that you’re ok. Thank you for the link. It doesn’t seem to be operating at this moment, but I’ll check it again in a while. What a horrific time. Let’s talk when things settle down for you. Take care. Best wishes. Richard
Took a look at it. Unbelievable. I and most people I know feel emotionally drained from it all. It will be a while before thinks level out. At least it appears that they’re rounding up suspects. Glad your partner escaped the worst of it (and you as well). R
Barry; An amazing story; thank you for sending that on. Cleo AOL.com
Thanks for your article. It is good to start hearing about people surviving. mary in Hawaii email@example.com
Saw your web page on the WTC bombing and your friends experience. Very moving and the feelings expressed are certainly felt by every other American, no matter where they are located. Anyway, just a short note to let you know that the thoughts and prayers of everyone I work with and know are centered on the folks in NY and DC.
We wish you and Bill and everyone else their the best. America will overcome!
sincerely, Rafe, intel.com
Dear Mr. Ritholtz,
In my 20 years here on earth, I have never seen anything as horrific and sickening as the events that happened on Tuesday. While getting ready for a class, I turned on “The Today Show” and watched as the second jet slammed into Tower Two. I thought that this was a scene from a new movie that was coming out soon. A few seconds later, I heard Katie Couric talking and suddenly, I realized that this was no scene from a terrible movie but actually happening. I became sick to my stomach and felt dizzy. Thousands of thoughts were running through my head “Are there innocent people aboard that plane?’, and ” Why would these pilots fly directly into the World Trade Center?”. After getting out of classes early, I ran home and called friends and family. Even though, I did not know anyone who worked in the World Trade Center, I felt these persons pain and suffering. For the past two days, I have read and listened on t.v. to several tales of terror and prayed for all those involved. I just wanted to thank you and your friend for sharing his story. When people share their personal stories like these, it brings a real sense of realism to the situation. Since I nor anyone in my generation has ever experienced anything of this magnitude, it still sometimes feels like a bad dream. Again, thanks for sharing this story with others.
Thank you for writing “A Personal Recollection From a Day of Horror.”
Im’ glad you’re OK! I’ll call next week as things begin the return to “normal”, but never again the same, Bob
Dear Mr. Ritholtz: I am quite sure you are being flooded by many responses to the article you wrote accounting your friend’s terror on Tuesday.
I can only say that his story along with the others I have read brought tears to my eyes….tears of sadness, however tears of happiness that he survived. Even though he is (was) a stranger.
May God be with you, your family, friends and Americans during this horrific time.
Pam, Canada blackstonefarm.com
Barry: Thanks. It puts a human face on what happened. I’m glad you are okay, as are the Jassin. How senseless.
New York, NY
Incredible write up… thanks. Mike Curtin firstname.lastname@example.org
nicely done. email@example.com
thank you for a very stirring article. you created a real sense of mood. very nice on a terrible subject. karolin krause
hi barry…. well..im alive..and well….got the hell outta there…from the 55th floor of 2wtc laurie @yahoo.com Note: Laurie & I worked together a few years ago — I had no idea she was even in the building . . .
Wow, glad that you’re safe. What a day. God help us all!
Guy, Palo Alto, CA
read your article. good piece of journalism.
best, ralph dramaguild.com
If there is anyway that I can be of help to you and your colleagues, do not hesitate to ask..Our thoughts and prayers are with all..
Barry, I read your piece and was moved. The writing was perfect but more importantly, I got a feel for what it must have been like. Living here makes it seem as if it happened so far away but you brought it home. I needed to know.
Take care of yourself and my best friend.
It’s good to hear from you. The whole of the UK is appalled at these atrocities and our thoughts are with you all.
I spoke to Mark on Wednesday and he gave me an update on the situation, but of course he didn’t know any more than anyone else about the scale of the human tragedy. I hope you haven’t lost anyone close to you.
I’m thankful you and your colleagues are safe and sound!
All the Best.
thanks for this barry. my best to you. i hope you, your family and your friends are safe and well.
best and take good care,
j San Jose, CA
Both were very thought-provoking. Thanks for sharing.
Take care, Jill, NYC
My heart goes out to all of those who did not make it. I have copied this article to pass around my office and to let my kids read it. What a thing to go thru! People have no idea unless they have to go thru it themselves. My prayers are with all those who have lost their lives, and to all the families that have lost their loved ones. They also go out to all of those who have survived this ordeal and have to live with the memories of going thru such a thing.
I feel that sharing this story is such a brave thing to do, and to let us all know how horrific this ordeal really was.
God bless you all!
Anne from Indiana