Friday, September 11, 2009

My 9/11

I'm writing this myself.

I don't deal with death very well. It triggers my anxiety immediately or it sneaks up on me when I least expect it. But I didn't have those anxiety issues until 9/11. I was 17 and it was the first time my mind was opened to the possibility of sudden tragic death. At the time I knew there were murders 20 minutes away in Toronto and Etobicoke, and I read about accidental deaths in local papers involving drunk drivers or truck tires. So, to say I was naive wouldn't be accurate; it was around me all the time. But the events of that September 11th and the images I saw blew open the hatchet in my mind.

I was in my entrepreneurial studies class when my teacher walked in and simply said "I don't know if any of you know this but, the World Trade Centre was struck by a plane this morning". I think a lot of people in the class that morning either didn't know what the WTC was or just weren't awake enough for the information to register because the rest of the class (some 20-odd) seemed unphased. She then said "I'm sure it's nothing to worry too much about. If any of you have family in the area and are deeply concerned, I'm allowing you to leave class at this time". For the next half hour that classroom felt like a prison; no information coming in, no information going out. All of a sudden a herd of people were marching down the hall outside the door and then a knock came. Our principal announced that "New York is on Alert Status Red and I'm suggesting that classes congregate in the Locker Bay. We've received a lot of calls from parents asking for teir kids to be removed from class. So, classes will now be optional with repect to what is going on". Panic control I figured. Some people stayed in the classes, unaffected, continuing on with studying or extra work. I went straight to the locker bay where the T.V. was already dialed in to CNN.

I watched that second plane hit and can picture it like it happened yesterday. I saw every piece of footage on rerun for the next hour and finally chose to go home. Whether you were at work or in class, Milton seemed to leave early from wherever they were that day. I'll never forget the rows of cars in traffic jams on roads that had never seen traffic jams before. People walking everywhere, some even running, all trying to get home. The safety of your own house was the warm blanket everyone needed that morning. To this day, no matter what the occasion or holiday, I've never seen my hometown so flooded.

You'll read a lot about 9/11 today. I chose to write about what I remember because I think it's important to. I don't do it for ratings or because I feel obligated or because it's the trendy thing to do today. I remember because it was something that profoundly changed me. I remember because it was a piece of history I'm sad to have been alive through. I remember because in 40 years, I hope the world doesn't reach lows like that. I've seen the documentaries, I've read the conspiracies, I have my doubts and I have my beliefs. It doesn't matter. What matters is that it happened. It happened and I hope nothing like that ever happens again. Innocent people died unnecessarily and that's the only way I look at it.

My reminiscence is through watching and listening to the footage and remembering how I felt almost a decade ago. has an extensive and amazing collection of appropriate videos on and about 9/11 ranging from Oliver Stone's WORLD TRADE CENTRE to the ever so detailed LOOSE CHANGE.

I personally recommend:

9/11:Phone Calls from the Towers

Also the most accurate portrayal of the events. The Filmmakers Commemerative Edition: 9/11. This is the one that was the accidental documentary of Ladder 1. It's unbelievable. It's in 3 parts but, if you want something that is opinion free and insightful, look no further.

And what I still consider the greatest possible homage to the events that happened that day: THE DAILY SHOW on the September 20th 2001. It's Google-able . . . it's what really confirmed how I felt. 8 years later when I watch it, it still brings me to tears and still comforts me.

In any way you deem fit, remember.

1 comment:

Ashley said...

Hi, I just recently discovered your blog and have really enjoyed reading it! You made reference to Baker's in Whitby, my sister-in-law(soon to be) works there, small world! I lived in Whitby all my life.
My husband is considering applying for a job in Nunavut...information seems to be hard to come by on the web, as far as housing, schools, and just in general, what it's like. We have 4 children, so this would be a huge decision and I really want to know as much as I can about life there, first hand.
If you can, I'll leave my email and hope to talk with you soon.
Ashley & Derrick