September 12th, 2001

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Quick update

I'm ok. Will post more when I get back home, should be home in ~2-3 hours. At my dad's place now - tunnels were still closed so I had to take a train down here and now he's going to drive us all back up.
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Tired

Just got back. Called my grandparents to let them know I'm ok. I feel exhausted. Talked briefly to my brother in law over AIM, he helped all morning and is back at the office trying to rest up before going back out to help again. I'm proud of him. I know getting back to the kids was important but I feel really horrible for not staying longer to help. I know I have my own responsibilities but there were so many people who needed help. :/ It's hard to accept. I know I have to put my children first but I can't help but think that I still should've stayed anyways. They would've been safe at my dad's place and I could've at least stayed until tonight or tomorrow morning. I dunno. I feel terribly guilty at not having done more, knowing there were people that needed help. He said I was doing the right thing going back to my children. I wish I could convince myself.

I took the time to write some entries about my experiences on my laptop earlier, I'll post them later, as well as posting new stuff too. I think right now I just need to go lay down, I'm exhausted in more ways than one and on the verge of tears.
  • Current Music: Unknown Artist - Faye Wong - Wo Yuan Yi
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Prayers

I'm thankful that this happened so early, and not an hour or two later when hundreds or thousands more would have been killed. I'm also thankful it happened while the weather was still warm so that the hundreds or thousands of people unable to return to their homes didn't have to deal with the cold as well.

I'd like everyone to think about the 250+ cops and emts and firefighters and others that struggled to save as many lives as possible and in many cases gave their own lives doing it. A lot of them had family, children, wives of their own. They gave their lives trying to save the lives of others. I'm not asking anyone, no matter your political beliefs, to say a prayer for them. But please, I'd like everyone to stop hating for just a little while and to remember that no matter what you think of the NYPD or police departments in general, or arabs or muslims in general for that matter, that when it counted, they were there helping, regardless of anything else, risking and in many cases losing their lives trying to help others. Blood banks all across the country are filled practically to overflowing by the infusion (pun not intended) of blood from donors rushing in and taking hours out to give what they could. There were so many people trying to volunteer to help yesterday that they were turning us all away for lack of work for us to do. I think that has to count for something. It's not a time to hate and to lash out at others. This is not a time for retribution. Justice, perhaps, but not retribution, and not anger, and not hate.

So please, if you can't say anything nice, just don't say anything at all. How about a one day break from the hatred and anger? Please, just this once? That's all I ask.
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The morning after

(Written this morning after waking up - but the t1 at work was down since yesterday afternoon when 7 WTC collapsed. Apologies if it's disjointed or silly, but I had just woken up on a new day after the horrors of yesterday. Deal.)

Woken up this morning by my dad calling to check and see how I was doing. He told me my grandparents had called a few times to see if I was ok. Woke up my brother in law and then we headed downstairs so he could take a smoke.

The day was cool and bright, and all around people were going about their days as if nothing happened. The anger I felt at it yesterday was gone. I remembered the sight of thousands of people crowding out on the street, watching the buildings burn and collapse, holding each other, biting their lips, crying on each others shoulders. People did care - they just didn't let it defeat them. Sure, maybe some of the people going about their days were just callous, but many more of them were like me - they had seen the horror and had gathered the strength to keep on going on with their lives even in the face of such horror. If we had been broken by this, the terrorists would have won. We weren't. We kept on going. We didn't let them win.

New Yorkers are known for being the toughest, most ornery bastards in the country, and we've shown just how tough we were. We felt the pain, we saw the horror, but we survived.




The city is closed below 14th street to allow the search and cleanup and rescue attempts to go on without interruption. There are shelters opened up around the city to help people without a place to go, and the hospitals and blood banks and red cross offices are all looking for blood donors - and getting them, in spades. The blood center (www.nycbloodcenter.org I believe) at 67th street had a line so long it was going around the block an hour ago - and I think it's only gotten longer since then.

The trains are running again, so I'm heading down to my dad's place now, to meet up with my kids and then hopefully head home.
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Day Two

(Written at the train station on the way to see my kids.)

I was woken up at around 8:15 by my father calling on my phone. I talked to my father briefly and when I was done Richard asked me the time and I told him. Richard had asked his roommate Louis to call at 8 am to wake us up, but apparently he forgot. We started getting up.
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Terraserver image of Manhattan

Here's a picture of the lower 2/3 or so of Manhattan.

http://terraserver.homeadvisor.msn.com/image.asp?S=15&T=1&X=91&Y=704&Z=18&W=1

The WTC is near the bottom of the island in the middle of the picture, towards the western side. The big thing towards the top is central park, which as you can see is around 2 miles long. The blood center on 67th is east of the bottom part of central park, which starts at around 60th street. 21st street (where my office is) is around 2/3 of the way from there to the tip of the island on the south.
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(no subject)

Every time I stop to think about what's happened it hits me like a punch to the stomach. I still can't believe that I was there and I saw it and that it really happened. I keep trying to ignore that and just do what I'm doing but it keeps happening. I still have two cousins unaccounted for. I hope they're ok. One of them was a police officer stationed downtown. I've also got a friend who works for the NYSE. I haven't heard from him either. I'm sure there are other people too, but I'm a bit overwhelmed right now trying to think of all of the people that I know and to try to remember if they lived or worked near the WTC. It's still so unbelievable.
  • Current Music: Bright Eyes - Going for the Gold