Friday, September 08, 2006

5 years later

The 5th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks are coming up. CNN has just announced that they will be airing their original September 11th coverage, beginning 8:30am. You can watch it free online. More info here.

I think the footage should be shown more often. Hearing the voices, watching people jump off the WTC in vain attempts to save themselves, watching the buildings fall, reading the stories, seeing pictures of NYC plastered with "Missing" posters, all of whom were, in reality, already dead, is tough and can bring anyone to tears. But it serves as a reminder of the world we live in. Something we should never forget.

Blessed Union of Souls has a mix of "I Believe" in memory of 9/11. Throughout the song you hear radio conversations and telephone calls, including one cut off as a plane crashes. Shivers go down my spine whenever I hear it. I won't even begin discussing the memorial concert that was held soon after, where it seemed like every surviving firefighter and police officer was in attendance.

One moment that will forever stick in my mind occured the first Friday following the attacks. I was on my way home for Shabbos, awaiting the next train from the LIRR. In front of the main ticket center for the LIRR, sat a man, a firefighter. In full gear. Covered in ash of the building and his friends. Helmet half on, face partially obscured. Back against the pole, slumping with his legs out in front of him. His face empty. Dozens approached, some trying to thank him, others asking if he was ok and could they get him something to drink. Only when one woman touched his shoulder and said 'thank you' did he even stir.

Come Monday, CNN will allow us to go back in time. To look outside and remember that Tuesday morning, 5 years ago, when hundreds of firefighters and police officers rushed to their deaths, when people stayed behind to help their friends and paid with their lives. The clear blue sky that was soon marred with death.