Thursday, August 18, 2011

Early anniversary

Tonight over happy hour cocktails, I asked my manager if he thought the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks would cause the financial markets to panic (like they did, screamingly, again today, natch) and he suggested most likely not because a) the markets of recent years have not been reacting to terrorist activity like they used to and b) the markets already have enough to be panicky about (or think they do, anyway), but by bringing up the topic I was reminded I'll be returning to BOS via an AirTran flight from MSP on that anniversary, which caused me to declare in a beer voice that I was not going to fall into the trap of thinking bad thoughts about doing so, which led him to tell me what it was like to be in midtown Manhattan at a conference on that morning in 2001 and watch Broadway go empty and traffic cease and ash-covered people stumble past his hotel and how no one could reach him because cell phone service was overloaded and how his hotel wouldn't let him leave town until the next day because the roads were closed down, and I was reminded of that same day in the town the planes came from, of walking through the Back Bay only to encounter Copley Square doing the same as Times Square and getting to work only to get sent home and sitting on a bench in the deserted Common under the bluest (and most deserted) sky ever and hearing the birds chirp because cars had deserted the city and that it was that silence I can't forget, more than the potential panic of not being able to imagine what was going to happen next, and as we were discussing these things I realized these kinds of stories are going to fill the air for the next 24 days, and that I found it a relief to get my reminiscing out of the way early so I can get on to enjoying the rest of my summer without fear.

3 comments:

Student Driver said...

I lived in Brooklyn ten years ago on Sept 11. I worked in Midtown and was walking from Grand Central to my office in Midtown when the first plane hit. I was getting out of the elevator and being told that there was some accident and thinking it was a sick joke, only to find everyone in the conference room, watching the small tv. A few moments later, the second plane hit and we knew there was no joke and no accident.

I couldn't reach my girlfriend by phone in Boston. I believe fully that 9/11 is why I asked her to marry me. Not because I loved her and wanted to be with her, but because 9/11 made us want to be loved. I walked away from that city 8 months later for her. Ten years later, I still regret that decision. NYC was my first true love. Type Geek my second.

Student Driver

Jen said...

I was filling in at the reception desk for the day at Zoom Telephonics, where I worked in the Leather District.

I was having trouble figuring out what was going on. I stayed later then other people though I went home that afternoon and was glued to the tv.

Kristin Y. said...

I have to say that 9/11 will be the event in my lifetime that will be the one that I “remember where I was when I heard…”, much like President Kennedy’s assassination was for our parents. It’s a day, like you described, of which I remember minute details – even now nearly 10 years later. I remember driving in to work and hearing about it on the radio, watching the first Tower fall as it happened live and then being evacuated from the 48th floor office of the IDS Center, the eerie “quietness” of downtown Minneapolis when I walked back to my car, talking with Mom on the phone and concurring that it should be happening on a disaster movie set and not really happening in downtown Manhattan, not wanting to be alone in my apartment and spending the day with my family watching continuous coverage on all channels. Visiting Ground Zero two years ago brought back all those memories again...I hope and pray that our nation will never have to go through something like that ever again.

Thanks for sharing Karin.