Thursday, September 12, 2013

September 12, 2001

I am really trying to connect the dots on how that day went for me.  I honestly don't remember if I went to work, maybe for a few hours in the morning or the afternoon.  I am not sure if I could have gotten to work.  It was hard enough to get home the day before.

Just the evening before my wife and I put towels over our 1 year old twins faces so they would not inhale the debris when we had to take them home.  I figured out in the morning that that dust was not regular construction dust.  It was pulverized walls, office supplies, copy machines, and people.

Rescue Squad Co. 1  Sept 11, 2013
But I remember that I decided that I would donate blood.   On my way to the hospital I went a few hundred feet out of my way to walk by my firehouse.  Rescue Squad #1. There I learned that they lost almost hakf of their men.  I later learned that one of them actually ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to only perish in the wreckage.  It is now a thing.

These were the men who would have run to my house to save my life in necessary.  Their rig was also destroyed.

Then I walked the handful of blocks down to Methodist Hospital. The streets where empty.  Like Christmas morning empty, but Santa had nothing to do with this.

The blood donation room had tables and beds out into the hallway.  But they were all empty.  They told me "There is no blood shortage, there are very few injured."  I overheard other medical staff talking about how they went into some super high level medical alert mode the day before.  They were prepared to do triage in the ER loading dock, but nobody came.

I gave a pint anyway.  The women ahead of me broke into tears because she could not produce her ID. He words echo in my mind "You don't understand, I left my purse in my desk, I can't go back and get it, a giant building fell on it."

A few weeks later I got a form letter in the mail from Methodist Hospital.  They felt obligated to tell me that my cholesterol was on the high side.  But I learned that stress can cause a spike in your cholesterol numbers.

You have just read about the previous 24 hours.  They were stressful.  So I went to see my regular doctor tried to relax.  I took a quick blood test and the doctor told me I  was fine.  Under my breath I muttered that I don't think I will ever be fine. It has been 12 years and I am working on it.

OK, big breath.  Here is what Neil DeGrasse Tyson wrote on Sept 12 , 2001


  1. Beautiful words :) Thanks for sharing your memories of that day.
    I was on Long Island that day and the big cloud of smoke was getting there too, even though it’s pretty far you could smell the burning buildings…
    On Saturday I went to Manhattan, the closest I could get to was the City Hall – still smoke coming from the WTC… then I went to Union Square and saw all those pictures of missing people… I will never forget this…

  2. Thank you for sharing this with the readers of your blog. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to think about while writing. I picture the twins, one year old, covered in towels so that they might breathe safely. And I try to imagine "there is no blood shortage" because so few survived.
    I live almost the width of the continent away. I remember the eerie strangeness of that day, starting with the surprise of a lifelong friend phoning to say, "Turn on your TV!" because she knew I never had it on during the day.
    Thanks also for the link to Neil DeGrasse Tyson. What a powerful story he told.

    1. Kay, there are probably 10,000,000 people that have stories like mine, and most of them can wright at least as good as me. But Mr DeGrasse Tyson can just lay it out.


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