Annual 9/11 Post. An Ex-Pat New Yorker looks at the Tragedy

Written originally on 9/15/2006


Was going to write a blog on 911 about my feelings, fears, and thoughts on the 5th anniversary of the tragedy.
Instead, I found myself profoundly saddened and depressed watching all of the coverage and those horrific pieces of film once again. My head spins from knowing that 5 years later the site of the WTC is still a gaping hole in the ground, with no memorial, conspiracy nuts abounding, a country divided in bi-partisan fashion yet again, and no idea where Osama is located. Betraying our trust the government lied to us and managed to convince enough citizens and law-makers that there was a connection to Iraq and the WTC bombings.
So, we still fight a war in Iraq seemingly learning nothing from the pain inflicted on individual people by an enemy they do not recognize.
An invisible ‘enemy’ for virtually all of them.

These things kept me from writing until today. Apologies for the tardy musings.

I lived in NYC all through the 1980s and still have in-laws and close friends there. I have taken my visiting California family to the top of the WTC, and loved having dinner at Windows on the World.
I was so lucky on 9/11 and not one of my circle was injured or incinerated. We had one ironic tragedy so I shall pass this along instead of becoming fucking morose again.

My Father-in-Law Joe was working in WTC Tower Two for a German company on February 26, 1993 and managed to escape unscathed after that first terrorist bombing killed six Americans and injured 1000.
Joe was able to get out of his office and walk all the way home to Brooklyn. We had lived in the Sheepshead Bay area, where the rest of the family still lives. That is a long-ass walk from lower Manhattan.
On September 11 Joe was still working for that firm. 30th Floor. While we were in California watching the Towers get hit, and then collapse, I called my (by then) ex-husband to see if he had heard from his mom and Joe.
Naturally no one could get through on the phones. I still corresponded with that side of the family. After all, they are the grandparents of my daughter.
72 hours after the Towers came down I spoke with Joe on the phone. He had gotten out before the collapse, walked downstairs from his 30th Floor Office, and then once again made his way on foot over the bridge to
Brooklyn and home.
I asked him if he considered transferring to another company since it seemed that Sales were down. He laughed.

Two years ago Joe died of cancer. So while I was spared telling my daughter that her Grandfather died on 9/11 it still fell to her father and I to inform her of his untimely death. Did the ash, asbestos, and visible debris have anything to do with his cancer?
We will never know.

I DO know this: The aforementioned series of incidents presents one of the greatest ironies I have ever witnessed.
A miraculous escape on two occasions. Only to be felled in the end by an invisible enemy after all.
Take care of each other, life is fleeting and ephemeral. Give your family and friends an extra hug and kiss and be grateful for each day that you have with them.

~Miss R

Currently listening:
Lyle Lovett and His Large Band
By: Lyle Lovett
Release date: 25 October, 1990

11 thoughts on “Annual 9/11 Post. An Ex-Pat New Yorker looks at the Tragedy

  1. To reduce something of such magnitude to one persons story makes it easier to comprehend, and you told this story well, Miss B.

    Thank you for sharing it, and I hope the gov’t honors its commitments to those that were downtown.


    • Thank you EG. Clearly agree with your sentiments regarding the remeberences.
      A terrible tragedy not only to this country but to all of us who lost a family member or friend. As stated, how many were lost, or are still suffering from the literal physical fall-out? We will never know.
      I so appreciate your words my friend.


      • I was a massive Barbara Olson fan and I had just watched her the day before discussing the Chandra Levy story with Greta Van Susteren . She said that it would have to take something enormous to make this story go away. She had caught an earlier flight to surprise her hubby for his birthday. The plane crashed right near his office at the Pentagon . She had rung him on the plane phone and he had told her they were crashing planes. 😦 She is the first person I think of this time each year.

        It’s a sad time indeed for not only the US but for soldiers and innocents who also died in the “shock and awe” aftermath that is still continuing 11 years on.


  2. Thank you for your story. This has been a week in hell for me, as I wrote the book about losing my husband to cancer. I hate this week in September and always will. My tribute is a mite different, as I was standing at that hole in the ground the year before you wrote this.

    Much love, my sweet ❤


    • Red, I am so sorry to read your message. This is truly a horrible week for you. Can only send my love and hugs. Time helps but it never erases does it?

      I can not even bring myself to go downtown, to ground zero, when visiting the City now.

      Sympathy and healing thoughts to you and your family. xo


  3. I don’t think I’ll ever ‘get over it’, so to speak. And I didn’t even personally know anyone ‘directly’ impacted… I can’t even imagine what it must be like for those folks… can’t even imagine how awful… there are just no words for it. Especially from someone who is as clumsy with them as I am.


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