I remember very vividly what happened ten years ago on September eleventh. I was on the two train stuck in the tunnel just before Chambers Street. I learned later my train had stopped as the first plane hit the towers. Once out of the train station, I walked towards my college at that time, BMCC, and saw the first tower on fire. I have no idea what happened but I just kept thinking “How are they going to put out a fire so high up?” then the second plane flew over me and slammed into the other building as people frantically jumped out of the other tower, already on fire.
In the ten years that have passed since that day I feel like I, like most New Yorkers, have moved on in life but in a very bitter and angry way. For several years following the attacks, I began to have a phobia of elevators especially in taller buildings as I didn’t like the feeling of the downward motion. I’ve only just recently cured this phobia to some extent, with in the past few years. I never joined the army, though I seriously considered it for a while. I thankfully didn’t lose anybody in any of the attacks but I knew a lot of people inside the WTC and Pentagon that made it out safely.
Ten years later and I feel, like most other New Yorkers, a mixture of bitterness, anger, sadness and relief. The sadness, naturally, comes from the events themselves and how people can throw their lives away over nothing. I think that’s why I’m not a religious person. People tend to take their religions’ written words and texts to literally. Most parents just want their kids to be provided for while living long, happy and healthy lives. Regardless of your religion, if you think of your ‘God’ and more of a parent, then you’re able to understand what ‘He’ wants for everyone. All the negativity is just human stupidity. I am relieved that more people didn’t get hurt that day. Four planes going down is four too many and I’m thankful it wasn’t more. I also feel relieved they got back most of the remains, as most families were able to get some closure.
The bitterness and anger came from nearly everything else that occurred because of the planes crashes. There’s ex-Mayor Giuliani who was praised by many and knighted by Queen Elizabeth for all his ‘work’ during and after the attacks. Yet most New Yorkers hated him up until the attacks and after as he took credit for what most New Yorkers achieved. I was out there during the attacks watching as people helped each other. It was chaotic as there was no public transportation running, no cell phone reception and some power outages. Despite all this, everyone on the streets didn’t hesitate to help anyone in distress as all our cops and firemen were down by the WTC.
I feel they should’ve honorary knighted the entire city of New York, all five boroughs, for standing together, helping each other and for not making a bad situation worse by looting. Giuliani said speeches written by someone else on camera for the world to see and that’s all he did during the attacks. New York City should’ve had a much better disaster response plan set up in the rare event some thing like this or worse happens in the future.
Then we have the two latest issues of the Mosque they want to build down by Ground Zero. I’m not racist towards Muslims or anyone else. I have plenty of friends from various backgrounds and I even have some family members that are Muslims, but I feel building a Mosque down there especially one that is supposedly the tallest ever built, is going overboard. I understand the need to show Muslims we’re not retaliating against them but this is going a bit too far.
I believe a few blocks away from Ground Zero would be better. what if more terrorists used the mosque for their cause? And what really irks me Finally the memorial is a huge slap in the face to everyone. The memorial opening ceremony didn’t invite any first responders or all the families who lost someone in the attacks.
What really irks a lot of us New Yorkers is that the memorial is charging admission, about $22, to view it.
I’m unsure if this suggested donation is suggestion donation only. My point being I understand most of the world has gone bankrupt or is in a major recession but that’s no reason to profit from a tragedy. We pay money to view exhibits like ‘King Tut’ or ‘The Bodies’ exhibit which is acceptable as the subjects agreed to be placed on display after death.
With the memorial it feels extremely wrong to charge money to view a tribute to a tragedy knowing that a lot of the remains were never even recovered.
We all know people are going to come from all over the world to see the memorial but this should not be turned into a money making tourist attraction, it should be a place for remembrance.