Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11th and the Song of the Day

It's hard to believe that it has been 11 years since that day. I was in my sophomore year, and I remember I was running late. I went to LaGuardia High School at 65th and Amsterdam, which was only 20 blocks up the same Avenue I lived on. So at 8:46 AM, when the first plane hit, I was on the M11 bus. I didn't find out about it till 2nd period Italian class when the teacher got alerted by something or someone of what happened. Everybody in the class heard about it for the first time in that moment. As it was for a good amount of Americans, work and class came to a standstill as info poured in. Us Acting Majors were located in the basement of the school, so once we gathered down there we only had a radio to inform us. Many rumors were swirling (8 planes in the air still unaccounted for, the government is going to shoot some down, etc.) We were cooped up with no vision of the outside world, a completely different angle than many New York Students had that day, whether they were in Brooklyn or at Baruch High School like some of my friends were. Certain classrooms unfortunately had a front row seat. I remember talking about it all in the hallway with some of my friends when one of them said the WTC was gone. I said, "You mean a part of the building fell off?" "No, Sam. Both buildings are no longer there, they have collapsed, they are no more." I was in complete shock.

The school at first wouldn't let us leave without a parent picking us up, but close to dismissal time, they relented and I started walking down the avenue, meeting my mother along the way. That was just luck, because most cell phone service was completely knocked out. It wasn't until 4 in the afternoon that I saw the horrific images that were plastered across the media markets.

The next day, I traveled to the Upper East Side where a friend of mine lived. I have never seen a group of people look as somber as every single person on that subway car looked. There was this woman across from me sitting next to an Indian couple. (In a similar manner of stereotyping to what she presented), This snobby, on-the-other-side-of-middle-age, Upper East Side, short-red-haired white woman looked disgusted, trying as hard as she could to edge away from the couple on the crowded 6-train. Nevermind that the couple wasn't even Arabic. I can't remember another time in my life I personally witnessed such bigotry. I guess you can consider me lucky to say that.

As the years have gone on, though, the image that stands out in my mind the most about the day is this:

Talk about selflessness. Everyone is on their way out to save their lives. And the firemen are only concerned with saving as many lives as they can in the fiery floors above. We all hope we could have that kind of character. They don't ask for anything in return. It's their job. It's natural to them. And it is never over the top to heap as much praise as we can on the servicemen of the world. They are at the top of the list of things that make humanity fantastic.

And the terrorists (and all cold-blooded killers throughout the world) are what make you shake your head, wondering how somebody could ever have that kind of mindset. They are the ones who don't deserve to have blood pumping through their veins. We will never let them win.

Life is strange, but grand and wonderful. Enjoy it while you have it, and thank the ones who make it better for you and help you have life as long as you can.

Here's the Song of the Day.


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