Sunday, September 12, 2010

9/11: 102 Minutes That Changed The World

So, today, of course, you've heard about how it's 9/11 and we should "remember." My question is, "How could anyone forget?" Seriously? How would one forget about such a horrific day?

After my company left & I was settling down for the night, I saw that the History Channel was playing an encore of "102 Minutes That Changed The World."  All I did was devote a literal minute to the show and already I was pausing my TiVo, changing into my pajamas, and settling on my couch with a blanket and my dog.

First of all, there are so many thoughts running through my head as I watched this. Literally, for the first half hour my mouth didn't close and my hand was somewhere near my face in shock and awe. I just couldn't believe it. You hear all these stories from that day and you just don't get the idea unless you see it on someone's amateur homevideo camera.

Sidenote: I will say, some of these people videoing are completely idiotic. But, without their thoughtless attempts, we wouldn't have raw video documentation of the horror that was NYC on September 11, 2001. So, thanks guys...

Now, another thought I had when watching this was, I am assuming no one thought that the towers would crumble. It's been a good hour into the attacks and people are still hanging out a couple blocks from the place. I guess I wouldn't have a clue what to do and would be in complete shock, so, I can't really blame them, but, I guess life experience {through hearing these stories and watching these videos} teach me that buildings DO crumble and we should always evacuate! NEVER hang out out of curiosity! And put the video camera DOWN!

I see all these videos of fire fighters and police officers and EMTs and the countless others offering their services. They are at ground zero, voluntarily! Making sure everyone gets out okay, making sure the streets are evacuated. They are going into the buildings!!

That's another thing... you hear people saying things like, "There's no way they can put that fire out." and "There's no way they are going to be able to help those people." And honestly, I agreed with those people. As hopeless as that sounds, realistically, you'd have to take the stairs, up at least 70ish floors, and then IF you see someone to help, you have to help them, and there's tons of people, and you have to get them all back down 70+ flights of stairs and, yeah, I wonder if they even considered the thought the buildings would collapse. Man, what heroism!

I see the desperation in the victims in the buildings, hanging out of windows flying white "flags" or just waving their arms in the attempt that someone will see them wayyyy up there, and actually be able to help! Lord, those people wanted to live!

You also saw those people who committed suicide by jumping out of their windows. They made a choice at that time, believing there was no hope. God bless their souls.

I heard 911 calls of people in the buildings, flames everywhere, smoke surrounding them. Lord, I know those 911 operators had no idea what to do. They did their job- they told people the best advice they could in the situation. Unfortunately, that advice was things such as "stay calm" and "hang tight" and "don't go anywhere" and "sir, I can't tell you what to do, that's your choice" and "if you feel like you should break a window, then that's your choice." MAN! Hang tight?? Stay there?? Stay calm?? Those 911 operators were clueless, reading off a script! What do you say to someone who you believe is in a world of danger, about to die? Do you worry about your job? Do you pray with them? Do you quit answering the phone because you know you can't help anyone personally? I mean really, I don't know what I would have done.

I watch as people realize the  building is about to collapse, or as it is collapsing, and they start to run. My first thought was, "what about everyone who couldn't run?" I mean, the people who did run probably didn't run out of harm's way, but, this is obviously why they attempted to evacuate the parameter beforehand.

Man, this show is tearing my nerves up. {I actually paused it to start blogging, then am blogging while the last hour is playing, just so you aren't confused in my past & present tenses.}

Someone actually said, "yeah, I heard they were doing this {running airplanes into buildings} every half hour" so, that's probably a good reason as to why people thought they need to evacuate their buildings and go outside, where they were even more unsafe. I just keep going back to, "but they had no idea....." I mean really, you don't have drills for things like this. One would never think something of this magnitude would happen. It's just unbelievable.

Everything looks so surreal. It's like at some points in time, it looks like a scene from a movie, like The Book of Eli or something post-apocalyptic. Not a soul is around, except that darn cameraman.

"I think we should go to war, like now," a girl said. Then some guy said, "I think we should just go to all the Arab countries and blow them all up." Man oh man....this is where it all began. More war, more hatred, stereotyping, discrimination, and more importantly, more lives lost.

My next thought is, "What about the pentagon? What about the plane that crashed into the field?" Are they not going to touch on that? Is there no footage from those places?" NYC was such a major centerpoint of the terrorist attacks that day, but it was not the only place innocent victims lost their lives.

Man, watching that really just made me realize how truly blessed I am to be ALIVE and SAFE!

God bless the souls of the lives lost on September 11th, 2001.

I heard the most awesome quote today in remembrance of 9/11:
"Freedom isn't free, somebody paid."

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