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Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Monday, September 11, 2006

But the tears won't stop

I'm terribly sad today. I thought that it would be easier as time went by, but in fact, it's almost more difficult than it was 5 years ago. The blogging world is filled with tributes to those people lost in the 9/11 attacks and each tribute brings tears anew. When I go through my bloglines and find a blog that doesn't even mention 9/11, I move on. I can't be bothered today with light thoughts about trivial things. Today, for me, isn't trivial at all.

Like so many of you, I can recall to the second all the events of that fateful day 5 years ago. We were living in California, and my friend Claire called me around 6 am and said "We're under attack, turn on your TV." I headed downstairs so as to not wake up the kids, and turned on CNN. I was struck dumb by the horror I saw. The North Tower was in flames, there were people pressed against the windows in the upper floors, and bodies were raining down on the sidewalk below as people jumped to their demise.

Then the second plane came flying over Manhatten, and I watched in disbelief as it too slammed into the South Tower. At that moment it became apparent that this was indeed a terrorist attack, an attack on my country. Then the Pentagon, and Shanksville. It was like a horror movie in slow motion. The North Tower fell and hour and 42 minutes after it was initially struck. Then the South Tower fell. The clouds of smoke and rubble, toxic debris, flew down the streets as people ran from it choking. School children near Ground Zero were herded out of their buildings but their parents didn't know if they were safe or not. People living in downtown Manhatten had their windows blown out, and had to leave their homes. There was no ground transportation and thousands of people walked over the bridges to get home. Cell phones didn't work. Land lines didn't work.

The sky was a stunning blue, the day a perfect early fall day in NY.

The Girl heard me go downstairs and joined me. Then the Boy came down too. We all watched as the second plane hit the South Tower. I was crying so hard I could barely breathe. We watched the TV until it was time for them to go to school. I sent them to school, even though I knew that many people would keep their kids home. But I felt that it was important to make their world as normal as possible, even after such a calamity. Much like when I was a kid, oddly the same age that they were that day, and JFK was shot. I came home for lunch, found out what happened, and then was sent back to school. It seemed right somehow.

When the kids came home, I was still watching the TV. Over and over they showed the same scenes, and each time it was like the first time. I couldn't believe what was happening. As the story became more in depth, it turned out that the hijackers had taken off from Logan Airport in Boston, and that they had stayed at a seedy motel in my city the night before they took off. That motel is no longer there, having been replaced by a huge Avalon apartment complex this summer. I don't think I could ever live there. The site is too auspicious for me.

On Sept 12 I was supposed to get written conformation of a job I had accepted, a position that I was very excited about taking. The head office of the company was in NYC. Needless to say, that offer was recinded as the company struggled to decide how to proceed. The high tech bubble was in full burst after 9/11, and those of us out of work had to face the realization that we would probably never work again in the kinds of positions we had prior to the attack. So in a weird way, I was also a casualty of 9/11. That date became the start date of our financial decline.

Later on that day I found out that my friend Nina had been in the city for work, and had to walk home to Long Island. And the next day I found out that a former coworker of mine had been killed on Flight 11 as he headed towards a business commitment.

As time passed and the government turned this national tragedy into a reason to go to war with a country that wasn't even involved in the destruction, I got more and more cynical. I used to believe in government, even though the Nixon and Reagan administrations. And that wasn't easy. But now, I can't even think of what morons we have leading this country, and how they have destroyed the perception of the US in other countries. I feel that the policies that Shrub and his nutcase advisors/cabinet have perpetuated have increased the number of terrorists at the same time doing little to make us more safe. I'm so disgusted with the way this whole situation has been handled, and I see further terrorism within our borders.

That's why I'm so sad. Rather than learn from our mistakes, we just keep making more and more errors. It makes me afraid for my children's lives. It makes me so angry.
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