Remembering what real trouble looks like
Thanks for re-posting that story, Matt.
And for your new intro to it. Your intros often resonate with me as much as what follows.
In this case, it was the phrase "reminding us what real troubles look like."
That was a great account of seeing Elizabeth Taylor at ground zero.
And this line, "This was also the last time many of us recall feeling like we were all on the same team, however briefly." How sad.
My daughter was born on that day so tomorrow she becomes a legal drinker.
She's a thoughtful girl who has never been happy about having the birthday she does. She has tried to explain to me, without being hurtful, how much more it means to me and my friends than it does to anyone she hangs out with.
Yeah. I say the same things whenever I recall these or other details from those fateful days and nights.
"Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet...Lest we forget...lest we forget"
More tears. And here we are as a nation torn apart by partisan politics, domestic terrorists goaded on by an orange haired maniac who is so transparent but has blinded so many.
The other side of the partisan coin is bad in different but just as damaging ways.
In the middle of all this misery are the rest of us, many who pray for our nation daily. God help us.
I was in NYC that day, and remember the smell of scorched steel, looming dust and shell shocked people -- suddenly feeling a sense of kinship with any passerby they wouldn’t have had time for the day before.
“Quick, turn on the news. I’m okay.” I left a message on our answering machine in Indianapolis where my wife held our youngest daughter in her arms.
My daughter is now drinking (legally) and studying history. History that to us was “the news”, except it was life changing.
I didn’t want to read this, but goddam you can write!
seems we never escape crisis. on this 9/11 we are fighting to save our democracy. different enemy
but the same battle continues.
Matt and all, at first I could not open this let alone thinking of even commenting here. It was like instead of a band-aid I was pulling a piece of Gorilla Tape reinforced with Super Glue from a fresh scab of a very painful wound.
I was in the White House on 9/11. Preparing for our next trip to Europe. I traded trip with President Bush to read to school children. A simple "down and back" day trip. I needed the "quiet time" to prepare for a grueling European trip with multiple stops in multiple countries. The First Lady was in her office with no significant plans. The V.P. was doing what the VP does when POTUS is not home. All quiet, peaceful and normal for us in the WH. My normal was interrupted by a USSS Agent saying they needed to scramble the Code Names for the VP and FL to Code Name for secure locations. My TV's in janitor closet size office were getting info on a plane crash... As I headed to get more info 5 USSS Agents led by 3 former D1 football players 2 former Linebackers and former Tight End had formed a Flying V. They were running and literally running WH staff over and under foot. Behind the V were several other Agents holding the VP under his arms. His feet running on air as they ran by me almost making me a floor mat. I knew at that moment we were in trouble. I gathered my radio and earpiece my phones and all of the sudden did not know where to go....You see this hallowed place. This place of absolute calm quiet efficiency even during drills was now in a state of controlled chaos. If you can call panic controlled. Our drills and practice were now real 2 planes into tower 1and 2 unaccounted for other aircraft. I used my phone to contact my counterpart earlier when VP was scrambled to alert him of our situation. He tolde at that moment the Chief of Staff was whispering to Code Name for POTUS. His reply and comment was F!, F! F! and the line went dead. They were on the move. Back at Home WH alarms were sounding people were in robot mode as the info sunk into or brains that normal was nevermore. Tomorrow I will continue this journey through my hell. Losing 4 USSS Agent friends in Tower 1. Being the Godfather to a son of a yet unborn son that would never know the touch or warmth or kiss of his hero dad. Ok God please help me get through this. Give me the strength to live through this annual nightmare that does not seem to get easier from which to live. Please.
Heartbreaking. Again. Matt, thanks for letting me re-live what I never wanted to live in the first place. Tears pouring. Thanks for helping me remember what I hope we never experience again.
September 11 calls to us
you beautiful souls
we lost that day
still call us
on our cell phones
to say goodbye
to ask us to live
for love and mercy and freedom
you ask us to live
with courage and faith
to rebuild our communities
to run as champions
the race of life
you were in the midst of
when they murdered you
we will live
with strength and tenderness
holding your hands in ours
however long it takes
to rebuild and reunite
The distance between then and now feels like a lifetime and a minute at once. The pain and loss is always right there.
Matt, thank you for your beautifully descriptive recording of hell. We need these words to maintain perspective.
I was in Manhattan that day, having just recorded several interviews for the morning shows about my latest book. Those interviews never aired, seeming to the TV people--and to me--trivial in light of the tragedy. I had always been separated from such carnage by decades and oceans. No more.
Thank you, Matt. The years blur the memory and the pain.