Saturday, August 20, 2005

An Anniversary I would love not to Remember

Another year has gone by since 9-11 and WTC 93. Long term readers know that I was an eyewitness to 9-11 and a survivor of WTC 93. There are experiences etched into my soul. Yet for the remainder of my days I will bear those memories . I had to take a day off from work after seeing the footage from London. I had flashbacks to the attacks in NYC. My boss was ex military and understood and told me to stay away from the TV.

I am but a little man a winess to history. My role inconsequential as I fled to saftey in a human stampede. The most memorable thing was the look on the faces of the rescue personel . The look was one I had never seen before but I am haunted by nightly. That look gives me more nightmares then the falling bodies and debree. I could write forever and not do it justice. There look was pure determination , duty and honor.

The irony is that among the horror and worst of man was the paradox of it bringing out the best in men. The dedication to saving lives even though ones own life was in danger. I will not ever forget that expression and that is my most vivid memory of 9-11. Some of us rose to the apex of man on that day but I was just another set of eyes
racing from history as many became part of it.

I also remember a burning evil smell that causes my hair to stand up. My uncle a Holocaust Survivor spoke vividly of a haunting smell of pure evil. I always thought it was an exageration but I know exactly what he was talking about and smelled it for weeks. No doubt some of you will think that I am exagerating but I pray you never smell burning death and pure evil.

I want you to also remember the way the far left often treats men like me because we think they are insane. They want to push witnesses with the far left view as representativeof eyewitnesses and survivors. I have been called a coward for running to safety.

My greatest loss was the myth of exceptionalism all of us carry. We all think that we will rise to meet the challenge and act exceptional when confronted with a crisis. I no longer have that illusion as I was just an olrdinary man witnessing history as others joined it. Fate is funny though as one seldom understands that history is made by few but witnessed by many ordinary people. Remember the rescue personel on 9-11 as the best and most noble amongst us.

I am not a hero just a witness to a great evil transposed with the most noble of humanity in a day of chaos. Unfortunately, I will bear those memories for the remainder of my days. I have a duty to tell those that ask about the bravery of those men, my discomfort is a small price so that some remember.


drummaster2001 said...

"I also remember a burning evil smell that causes my hair to stand up... No doubt some of you will think that I am exagerating but I pray you never smell burning death and pure evil."

you know i am about a 45 min drive away from Manhattan. yet from my house, that smell was here. and it wasn't for just a few hours, it lingered for about 2 days.

"We all think that we will rise to meet the challenge and act exceptional when confronted with a crisis."

in this case it was death, and sadly, the brave FDNY and NYPD rescuers knew it. knowing that one's own death was in front of them would be too much for many people, but not in this case.

as for 'the look', i watched a documentary last week with footage from that day and no doubt it was there. they knew what lied ahead, and made up their mind on what they were going to do.

i went to the Twin Towers just one week prior to 9/11. i was at the top of the world, looking down the 100 stories for the first time. all of NYC could be viewed on the sunny, no cloud in the sky, day. we had a picture taken (they did it as we entered), and we bought it from the gift shop. it was in my head and my family's, the 'what if' scenario. i sometimes look at the picture and wonder...

beakerkin said...

I wish the focus would be on the best of humanity amonst the chaos and death and destruction.

Esther said...

You're a survivor. I guess to a lesser degree, most of us are. Almost all of us were changed that day. I know I was.

Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...


Someday, you will tell your story to children, just as your uncle told his story to you.

You will realize exceptionalism again when you realize the story you tell to the children refers to the horrors of today in the past tense.

Right now, we're still writing that story.

Always On Watch said...

I tried to post a comment here yesterday, but I guess that Blogger didn't take it.


This is an eloquent piece. Thank you for writing it.

Jason_Pappas said...

People forget too easily … except for those that remind them. There are those who'd like to turn the WTC into a statement of American oppression but the Daily News won’t let them forget. It’s people who remain vigilant … who won’t forget … that are fighting for the future so that it won’t happen again. Let's honor that memory. Let's honor those that died in 9/11 and those fighting the enemy today. Let's never forget.

Good article.

Jason_Pappas said...

I don't know if you caught it but there's a two part four hour special on the National Geographic Channel. It is on 9/11 and the events that led up to 9/11. It's good on both the background going back to Meyer Kahane and even back further; and on the 9/11 attack itself. It brings back the event very vividly including unseen footage.

People need to remember.

drummaster2001 said...


no i didn't, but thanks for the tip.

Raven said...


I just caught your similar posting on Yeagley's site (although I have occasionally returned to read his Blogs, I have only recently ventured in to read some of the forum postings) and thought I would wander over to see what you are up to.

“…an eyewitness to 9-11 and a survivor of WTC 93.” It seems like God has given you a special purpose; at the least, bearing testimony so the rest of us wont forget.

I hope you don’t mind that I copied your post at Yeagley’s to add the “events” booklet I have been compiling for my 3 son. They are 12 (who was born in ’93), 10, and 7at the present. I don’t trust the one sided angle that history is often written and believe they should understand the events that are shaping the world they are growing up in for what they really are.

I have never seen anything wrong with being ordinary, especially since it seems to be from where some of our most noble of heroes have risen. It is these heroes; the rescue personnel and those who gave their lives saving others, that I have always held my “admiration”. Such men give me hope in humanity and deserve so much more than getting lost in the political quagmire that follows.

Keep up the good "writes", Beak!

beakerkin said...


Thank you for your kind words but rescue personel are men and women of action. They dedicate their lives to saving others. Yet would it kill all of us to thank a fireman a cop or an EMT.

Always On Watch said...

National Geographic's web site will be selling a DVD version of the recent specials on 9/11. I watched the specials and thought they were quite well done.

We must never forget!

Always On Watch said...

Right! So many lost that day.

Always On Watch said...

For the 9/11 posting at my blog, I will be putting up a student's poem and a link to this blog article of yours.