Check out 2,996:
2,996 is a tribute to the victims of 9/11.
On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers
will join together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11.
Each person will pay tribute to a single victim.
We will honor them by remembering their lives,
and not by remembering their murderers.
They’ve actually got over 3,000 bloggers signed up. Each s writing a post about one of the victims of that day 5 years ago. The list is here. What a great idea and I only wish I had heard of it in time to participate. That’s a powerful use for the thousands of blogs out there, most (like this one) of little consequence. Thanks to Bill (De) at The Thinklings for the link.
I can remember growing up my parents and those in their generation telling us how they all knew right where they were when they heard that President Kennedy was shot. They all would recount with detail where they were at that time.
9/11 is like that for me and my generation, it’s as if we were right there.
I remember, at my job we had a meeting each morning to review the day’s activities. In that meeting on 9/11, it must have been at 9:00 AM, one of the guys in the shop had heard fro his wife that some idiot in a Cessna had flown his plane into the World trade Center. We laughed at how stupid that was. It wasn’t long, as the details became known, that we stopped laughing. It wasn’t stupid at all. It was coldly smart, cunning, calculated and evil.
We tried to get some work done. Instead, with no TV in the office, we kept hitting refresh on CNN.com and listened to NPR news, trying to see and hear the latest. I remember CNN.com and other sites having streamlined front pages to load faster to handle more traffic.
I remember the plane hitting the Pentagon and wondering, dear God, what was happening. I thought of a possible World War III, my family at home, what would be next. I was genuinely scared by the prospects.
I remember being in line at Big Bear grocery store, buying M&M’s when the first tower fell. We had a project for a bulk food bin manufacturer to design a dispenser for M&M’s and we had eaten all our test samples and needed more. As I stood there buying several pounds of M&M’s I watched the TV set up in the isle as Tower 1 fell. The M&M’s didn’t seem to matter much.
After work, I remember being glued to a Aaron Brown on CNN who’s calm, personal, conversational delivery was both odd and somehow reassuring. I think he had just started on CNN the day before or something. I stayed up half the night, like a train wreck, I couldn’t look away. I think I did the same for several nights in a row.
I have other memories of the World trade center on this anniversary day. Over 10 years before 9/11, I lived in NYC on an internship during my college senior year. These pictures, digipics of 35mm prints, are from that time.
The first is a scrawny, single me (with some strange fuzzy stuff growing on top of my head) and a sister named Amy, on a date. I don’t remember Amy’s last name, and the picture just says Amy. I guess I thought I’d remember her forever. It was taken on Ellis Island, looking back at Manhattan. I had forgotten how the WTC dominated the skyline.
The second, I believe, is from later on that same date, up on the top of the WTC, looking down on the city. That’s the East river and the Brooklyn Bridge in the background and those are 30, 40 , 50 story buildings in the foreground. Being up there was amazing. I could have spent hours looking down and examining the buildings and streets.
The last is the view of the second tower from the first, in the glow of a mid-winter sunset. We stayed up there through sunset that evening and it was phenomenal. We watched the lights come on and the city grow dark.
I went up again, later that winter of 1991, when Mom and Dad came to pick me up after my job was done. Nearly 11 years, later, just weeks after 9/11, Mom and Dad flew to NYC for the Macy’s thanksgiving day parade. Mom was dancing in it. They visited ground zero, still smoking. There were armed guards preventing picture taking, out of respect I guess. Dad had to break the nail file off of his nail trimmers before getting on the plane. The nail file, on a little pivot, would be near useless as a weapon, but then again, who ever thought a box cutter was a formidable weapon before 9/11.
After coming home, Dad remarked how strange it was to look up in the empty sky and think, I stood up there once. Way up there, in the now empty air and clear blue sky, high above all the other structures, he, Mom and I once stood. Now there was nothing to stand on.
What do you remember?