I was in NYC 8 years ago on that Tuesday morning. I was in for the wedding of my former paramedic partner the Saturday beforehand, and it was the morning Mrs. N. and I were due to leave. I remember the confusion at first, as no one was quite sure what exactly happened when the first plane hit, but then watching the second plane hit, I knew right away this was no accident. We were staying with my mother in my old neighborhood in the Bronx. Immediately, and with a sense of dread, we tried to get hold of my brother, also a NYC paramedic. He works the overnight shift, and we were afraid that he might be on overtime, or was called back on duty and sent down there.
It turned out to be the latter, but fortunately, they kept him in the Bronx, and did not send him down to Ground Zero. Next, we tried to get hold of my cousin, who worked at Federal Plaza, which is a stone's throw away from the WTC. That took longer, as all the cell phone lines were jammed, but we did eventually find out that she did make it out of there and was headed back to her home in New Jersey.
I grew up in the northernmost end of the Bronx, so getting out of there was easier than in other parts of the city. We tried to go give blood at one of the local hospitals, but the line was so long for that, and we had a 6 1/2 hour trip ahead of us. We decided that we would give blood once we returned to Rochester. On the way to that hospital in the Bronx however, I encountered an eerie sight, as 2 F-15's screeched overhead of us, part of the aerial the patrol that wound up encircling the city for that day, and several more afterward.
We kept the radio tuned to whatever news stations we could find on the way, even trying to get whatever information we could going through the mountains and constantly picking up and losing stations. There was no music playing that day. Wherever you tuned to, there was only one story. We made it home, stunned, shocked, but relived.
We also realized how close it could have come to being victims, as we were not far from the WTC the day before, taking a day trip into Manhattan to revisit some old haunts.
So when you stop to think about today, think about the lives that were lost, both civilian and rescuers. Keep one rescuer in mind: EMS paramedic Ricardo Quinn, a former colleague. He died when Tower 1 collapsed. You can read about him here:
Because I was there, I cannot help but remember...
spring flowers - I am quite fond of this series of Wildflowers of Canada that came out in 1977 and try to collect as many as I can from my stamp dealer to use for Postcross...
4 days ago