Sunday, September 11, 2016

September 11th Remembrance

Fifteen years ago, I was working on Lafayette between East 4th and Astor Place. I was working at a studio at the time in production making tv commercials. It was a beautiful September day out. No clouds in the sky, a slight breeze, still some summer warmth hanging in the air. I remember things like that from that day vividly. I also remember I was supposed to go use the cargo van to go pick up a kinoflow light down at a rental house down on worth street that day. The other production assistant( I was  PA at the time) was running late with van. If you have ever seen a tv/film stage, you realize you rarely ever know what's going on outside in the real world. As I was waiting for Angel to show up with the van I was cleaning up the stage itself, putting odds and ends away, when he came bursting into the stage.

"A PLANE JUST HIT THE TWIN TOWERS." "What?" " A plane. Just. Hit. The. Trade. Center."

We all went running to the elevators to have it zip us up to the roof six stories up. Seeing the smoke billow out of that building was insane against the peaceful blue of the sky. We watched for a bit then went back downstairs to go get info on the plane. None us could even fathom the size of the plane that hit the building. We were watching the news and discussing what we were seeing.

"Was it an accident?" "What happened?" " Think it was an attack?" "Nah. Why would it be an attack?" "Wait. Is that another plane?"

Tracking the plane for the last 3 or 4 seconds before it disappeared into the side of the building and then a fire ball exploding out of it. It was just all surreal.

Angel declared with sadness and anger in his voice. "We have been attacked." I was in denial about this for a while until it sank in. He was right.

I went back up to the roof and was watching Nick(who is now a director for that production company) fire off photo after photo documenting the tragedy. He caught the buildings falling. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The air space that the buildings were occupying just had plumes of smoke where the Twin Towers were ( I sped up the events a bit in this article).

It was a good ten mins before we say folks walking up covered in that white dust. They couldn't see. They were choking on it, covered in every nook and cranny and in shock. We opened up the offices to the production company and the doors to the stages so these poor people could sit down, call their loved ones, clean out their eyes, have some water and try to make sense of what happened. I grabbed a few fellow workers went to the basement where we had thirty cases of water and brought up to the street for whoever needed it. I didn't know what else to do. I tried to help comfort people, but how do you really comfort someone that lived through hell first hand.

As the day went on, the death toll went up. I saw things I shouldn't have seen through Nick's camera lens. We watched the news for hours. Heard about the other planes. And how the one in PA was taken down by the passengers. We found out about all the first responders we lost. Running into the buildings, while everyone else was running out. I don't talk about it much, but I am still very affected by that day because of what I had seen.

I want to thank all the first responders who put their lives at risk that day. I want to thank the normal everyday folks who tried to be super that day and help others with little to no regard for their on lives. Thank to everyone who worked in rebuilding and just anyone else who can make this a better day. I want everyone who lost someone to be able to feel the strength reaching up to them and helping them get by,

NEVER FORGET FOLKS IS NOT JUST A SlOGAN. It's what we need to do.

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