Elster's World

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Innocence Lost

Confusion was the first reaction. Confusion as to how a small plane could possibly have hit the trade center tower. Even more confusion when the second plane hit. "What do you mean a plane hit the other tower?", I remember asking. "What are the odds that 2 planes could randomly hit the tower like that???"

And then it hit me. It wasn't random at all. America had been attacked.

In the hours that followed, the confusion only grew. 10 more planes were unaccounted for. The Pentagon was hit. A plane crashed in Pennsylvania. The White House was a target. More planes unaccounted for.

And then came the fear. I called my dad desperately seeking news of my brother in law, who worked in the towers. Thankfully, he was one of those lawyers who liked to go into work late. He was ok, actually in Brooklyn in my dad's office.

From there, surreal. My friend and Iwalked south towards lower Manhattan, to give blood. But the lines were so long, they told us to come back another day. We saw people covered in white - realizing only later they were covered in ashes.

We prepared for a long walk back to Riverdale, but amazingly, the railroad was running and we were home by 2:00 or so. We spent all day watching coverage on the news.

Everyone who was in the City that day has a story. Mine is nothing compared to those who died, those who lost loved ones. My cousin, a Hatzalah EMT who ran down to help, was buried in an ambulance for like an hour, covered in the fallen tower. That's a story.

But my retelling of my own little tale is my way of remembering the day New York, and America too, lost its innocence - September 11.

3 Comments:

  • The day of JFK's assassination is probably the only comparable date in terms of loss of American innocence. And on September 11th there were so many more lives lost. Certainly for our generation, this is the date that will stick out. Ever read David Halberstam's "Firehouse"? Brilliant and touching book about some of the firefighters on 9/11.

    By Blogger Jewboy, at 11:58 AM  

  • I have not.

    Good point re: JFK - but that was the act of an insane man (or men if you belive the theorists. But 9/11 was an attack on our country by terrorists.

    By Anonymous Elster, at 12:00 PM  

  • True, it's an entirely different type of thing, but because of what JFK represented to people it also was a major day of lost innocence.I'm not trying to say it was worse, just another day of infamy in American history.

    By Blogger Jewboy, at 12:03 PM  

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