Tag Archives: World Trade Center

September 11, 2001 – A Personal Retrospective

The following retrospective is a repost from September 11, 2010:

Whenever I would fly into my hometown of New York City, the one thing that I would look for to let me know that I was “really home” were the Twin Towers, glistening in the sun as if to say, “you’re home”.

I also loved walking on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade in Clinton Hills, where my oldest son and his family live.  One could see the New York City Skyline of lower Manhattan which is a spectacular site to see.  The Twin Towers always dominated the beautiful skyline and added a stylish elegance to the already stunning light-speckled silhouettes.

The weather in Atlanta on the morning of  September 11th, 2001 was absolutely gorgeous.  The infamous “Hotlanta” heat had started to subside for about a week and I had decided to go walking.  I turned the television on at about 8:55 am, having no knowledge of what I was about to witness, I stood staring at the tv, stunned and confused.  The reports from CNN indicated that a small plane had hit the World Trade Center.  My phone started ringing off the hook.  My children were all checking in with me to let me know they were ok.  That is, all but one, who I had not heard from at all.

To make things worse, My son, Marc’s wife called to tell me that Marc had an appointment at the WTC that morning at 9:00 am.  As I spoke to her, we both watch the second plane going into the south tower.  I was trying to console my daughter-in-law and at the same time my heart was racing, wondering if my son was in one of those buildings.

I asked my kids to find out what they could and get back to me.  I told my son’s wife that I was certain he was ok and that I would call her back shortly.  My heart was in my throat, thinking about Marc and the thousands of people in those buildings.

By this time the news reports indicated that we were being attacked.  I couldn’t believe I was witnessing what was tantamount to my mother’s recollection of the events that followed the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

I sat on my sofa, mesmerized by the unfolding events.  Eyewitnesses telling their stories, correspondents and reporters trying to piece together what happened.  I felt helpless because I lived in Atlanta now and I kept wishing I were there, to comfort my family, to help or volunteer my services somewhere.  All I could do was stare at the television screen in total shock and disbelief.

My son Marc called me at about 10:00am telling me his bus was stuck in the Lincoln tunnel and he was unable to use his cell phone to tell us he was ok.  I was so relieved and grateful that he was alive and well.  Conversely, I was  very sad to see the many people who were searching for their loved ones, some of whom would be found and so many many more who wouldn’t.

What I take away most, from the events of that day was not the hostility of who or why, I wasn’t “there” yet.  I remember the entire world, rallying around us in gestures of good will.  I remember the people of New York City coming together and helping to do what they could to make things easier for the first responders, especially after the south tower crumbled to the ground.

I remember thinking how New Yorkers always come together in a crisis and this was no exception.  I also remember thinking how the NYPD and the NYFD rocked!  They were the finest and the bravest, working together regardless of risk and without hesitation.

The politics of that day came days later for me.  As things began to unravel and reports surfaced that the Bush Administration may have been negligent in foreseeing the ensuing the disaster.

On September 11, 2001, I was in the moment.  The human triumphs and tragedies.  The tears and laughter.  The horrific loss of life, including a group of firemen who’s communication equipment failed them (thanks, then Mayor Guiliani.)  In fact, I was in the “moment” for at least first three days of  broadcasts and repeats of important events.

September 11, 2001 is one of those days  when people ask: “Where were you when….?”  In my lifetime, I’ve witnessed the  assassination of our 35th President, John F. Kennedy,  the March on Washington, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., the assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy and Malcom X.

Yet, the events of 9/11/2001 hit harder because of the global implications and the sheer numbers of people killed at all three sites.  I’ll always remember where I was on that date.

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Filed under September 11th

World Trade Center, Built With Union Labor, Is Now America’s Tallest Building

Think Progress

One World Trade Center, which will replace the World Trade Center towers that fell in the September 11 terrorist attacks, became the tallest building in the United States this morning when workers hoisted a 408-foot spire atop it. At 1,776 feet tall, the building is now the tallest in the United States and the third-tallest in the world.

And, as American Rights at Work noted when it became the tallest building in New York, it was built with union labor:

It’s fitting: union members were among the first responders; union members served in the immediate cleanup; and now union members are part of the rebuilding.

Anti-union legislation has made its way across America in recent years, from Michigan to Indiana to Wisconsin. But unions were instrumental in building America’s middle class, in responding to the attacks on 9/11, and now, in rebuilding the World Trade Center in the decade since the attacks.

“It’s a pretty awesome feeling,” project manager Juan Estevez told the Associated Press. “It’s a culmination of a tremendous amount of team work … rebuilding the New York City skyline once again.”

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Wonderful Montage Shows Nearly Every Film Appearance Of The Twin Towers

I will always share an affinity for the Twin Towers, with so many other Americans.

I’m a New Yorker and have admired those buildings since they opened in the early 70′s.

The following montage is awesome.  Kudos to Dan Meth, the video’s editor.

Mediaite 

Unsurprisingly, we’re currently being inundated with tributes to the victims, survivors, and heros of 9/11. However a video picking up steam online this week makes a wonderfully simple and beautiful ode to two of the biggest victims of that horrible day; the Twin Towers themselves. The video edits together clips of nearly every film appearance the buildings made in their time in the sky. Seeing how directors frame their shots to perfectly capture the Towers is an amazingly effective way to remind us just how iconic they were.

The video, edited by Dan Meth, shows everything from shots of them still under construction in 1972’s The Hot Rock, to Snake Plisken landing atop one in Escape from New York, to little, lost Kevin McCallister visiting them in Home Alone 2. Meth describes his video like this:

From 1969 to 2001, the Twin Towers made countless cameos in Hollywood films. Sometimes featured prominently in the foreground, sometimes lurking in the distance. This montage celebrates the towers’ all-too-short film career with songs that capture the passing decades. Man, I miss them.

(Special thanks to Donna Grunewald for her extensive list)
wtcinmovies.tripod.com/​chrono.html

It really is a wonderful piece. Watch it below:

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The 9/11 Tapes

Gawker

The New York Times has assembled and posted more than two hours of military, air traffic, and airline radio communications—some of it never before heard in public—from the morning of September 11, 2001. It is depressing and fascinating.

Astonishingly, a complete archive of the available audio documenting the attacks from the perspective of air traffic controllers and other people responsible for tracking the four doomed flights has never been assembled. Investigators working for the 9/11 Commission labored to pull together all the recordings they could find, but the draft “audio monograph” of 114 recordings they culled in 2004 came too late—the Commission was disbanded before a pre-release legal review could be completed. While many of the recordings were played at commission hearings, the full document remained secret.

Until last year, when a former 9/11 Commission investigator named Miles Kara recovered the files from the National Archives, and, in concert with students at Rutgers Law School, finished cataloging and transcribing them. The transcripts will be published by the Rutgers Law Review, and the audio is being posted by the Times. It’s an amazing trove, and it boggles the mind that not even the commission tasked with generating a complete accounting of that day never thought to pore over every moment of audio.

There are two notable, and fascinating omissions: Thirty minutes of audio from the cockpit of Flight 93, caught when someone keyed one of the pilots’ microphones, and a “high-level conference call” joined by Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and others.

The audio is endlessly perusable. When Betty Ong, a flight attendant on American Airlines flight 11—which hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center—called her airline’s operations center to report the hijacking, she reported that no one could get into the cockpit or if the pilots were safe.

Well if they were shrewd, they would keep the door closed,” the voice on the other end of the line replied.

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Filed under U.S. Politics

Twin Tower Cameos

I will always share an affinity for the Twin Towers, with so many other Americans.

I’m a New Yorker and have admired those buildings since they opened in the early 70′s.

The following montage is awesome.  Kudos to Dan Meth, the video’s editor.

Mediaite 

Unsurprisingly, we’re currently being inundated with tributes to the victims, survivors, and heros of 9/11. However a video picking up steam online this week makes a wonderfully simple and beautiful ode to two of the biggest victims of that horrible day; the Twin Towers themselves. The video edits together clips of nearly every film appearance the buildings made in their time in the sky. Seeing how directors frame their shots to perfectly capture the Towers is an amazingly effective way to remind us just how iconic they were.

The video, edited by Dan Meth, shows everything from shots of them still under construction in 1972’s The Hot Rock, to Snake Plisken landing atop one in Escape from New York, to little, lost Kevin McCallister visiting them in Home Alone 2. Meth describes his video like this:

From 1969 to 2001, the Twin Towers made countless cameos in Hollywood films. Sometimes featured prominently in the foreground, sometimes lurking in the distance. This montage celebrates the towers’ all-too-short film career with songs that capture the passing decades. Man, I miss them.

(Special thanks to Donna Grunewald for her extensive list)
wtcinmovies.tripod.com/​chrono.html

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King Hearing Casts Muslim Americans as Clueless, ‘Not Intellectually Equipped’

The fact is, it is Rep. King who is clueless and not intellectually equipped!

The Nation

When Representative Keith Ellison, one of just two Muslim members of Congress, broke down during Representative Peter King’s hearing on “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response,” you could feel the entire room holding its breath. “He’s crying,” whispered Haris Tarin, director of the Washington, DC, office of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), who was sitting next to me. Ellison began sobbing as he recounted the heroism and patriotism of Muhammad Salman Hamdani, a first responder and a Muslim, who died on 9/11 attempting to rescue his fellow Americans in the World Trade Center.

If King felt moved to weep or mourn or possibly salute, he neither said anything about it nor showed any reaction to his colleague. King has no problem with exploiting the emotional potency of 9/11; in fact the hearing room had been adorned with framed photographs, including a poster-sized photograph of the Twin Towers in flames. But King wasn’t going to let the heroism of a Muslim in the face of terrorism get in the way of a good witch hunt. He’s on a mission to establish that Muslims aren’t patriotic, that they don’t engage with law enforcement and that Muslim “radicalization” poses a risk to the homeland and our way of life.

Before his testimony, Ellison made his presence felt in the hearing room, greeting members of the public, grinning and saying “shalom” to Rabbi Marc Schneier of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. Schneier is a member of the Shoulder-to-Shoulder Steering Committee, an interfaith group that has condemned the hearings, accusing King of “bearing false witness” against America’s Muslims by asserting “that Muslims as a broad group are not deeply devoted to America’s safety and the peaceful interaction of its entire citizenry.”      More…

 

 

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Filed under Islam, Islamophobia, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Peter King

Obama signs 9/11 health bill

I’d like to see the lunatics in the asylum try and repeal this law!

CNN

President Barack Obama signed the 9/11 health bill into law in Hawaii on Sunday, White House spokesman Bill Burton said.

Obama signed the bill during his Hawaiian vacation, with no signing ceremony held. In a statement issued later, the president said he was “honored” to sign the bill, which pays for health care for responders believed to have been sickened by pollution at the ruins of the World Trade Center in New York.

“We will never forget the selfless courage demonstrated by the firefighters, police officers, and first responders who risked their lives to save others,” Obama said. “I believe this is a critical step for those who continue to bear the physical scars of those attacks.”

The bill made a long journey in order to get signed. A printed copy of the bill flew with a White House staffer from Washington to the Hawaiian island of Oahu, so Obama could sign it from his vacation rental in Kailua.

“It came out with a member of the staff so that it could be signed in a timely fashion,” Burton said.

The legislation, officially titled the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, provides health coverage to workers who helped clear the rubble and search for human remains at the site of the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history. The $4.2 billion legislation also reopens the federal Victim Compensation Fund to provide economic relief to those harmed by the attacks, which killed more than 2,700 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.      More…

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Katie Couric: Maybe We Need A Muslim Version Of The Cosby Show

Cropped headshot of Katie Couric

Image via Wikipedia

The problem with Katy Couric’s logic is two-fold.  The Bill Cosby Show did not reduced racial tensions in our country, witness the past three years. 

Secondly, Muslims view their religion as the foundation of their life.  How will Islam  play out on a sitcom?  Not very well, I’m sure…

Meidaite

As 2010 comes to a close, the media industry is taking its annual breather to reflect upon all the things it had to cover in the past year. Katie Couric, in her CBSNews.com review of 2010, highlighted the controversy surrounding the Park51 project. “The bigotry expressed against Muslims in this country has been one of the most disturbing stories to surface,” she told her panel. In that media narrative, she saw “a seething hatred many people feel for all Muslims,” which she theorized could be remedied by another, more lighthearted narrative: “Maybe we need a Muslim version of The Cosby Show.”

She came to the situationally comedic solution after offering this take on American Islamophobia:

I also think sort of the chasm between, or, the bigotry expressed against Muslims in this country has been one of the most disturbing stories to surface this year. Of course, a lot of noise was made about the Islamic Center, mosque, down near the World Trade Center, but I think there wasn’t enough sort of careful analysis and evaluation of where this bigotry toward 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, and how this seething hatred many people feel for all Muslims, which I think is so misdirected, and so wrong—and so disappointing.

So could funny Muslims in even funnier sweaters be the answer? “I know that sounds crazy,” she said, “But The Cosby Show did so much to change attitudes about African-Americans in this country, and I think sometimes people are afraid of what they don’t understand—like you, Mo.” She was referring to Daily Show veteran and NPR regular Mo Rocca, who was present for the discussion. A Harvard alumnus, Rocca shamefully confessed that despite having attended “really fancy schools,” he knows basically “nothing about Islam.”

The two then “totally agree[d]” that “religion should be taught as an academic subject in public schools.” A funny solution, given that Rocca had just admitted-slash-joked that even his expensive private schooling had been insufficient.

But not as funny as a Muslim Cosby Show! Of course, there would be one catch: we’d need a Muslim Bill Cosby. Do we have one, America? I don’t know, but one thing is for sure: Aziz Ansari would make a great Theo Huxtable.

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Filed under Humor, Islam, Islamophobia, Katie Couric

Dems outraged as GOP blocks 9/11 responders’ health bill

Raw Story

Senate Republicans on Thursday derailed a bill to aid people who got sick after exposure to dust from the World Trade Center’s collapse in the Sept. 11 attack.

Supporters were three votes short of the 60 needed to proceed to debate and a final vote on the bill that would have provided as much as $7.4 billion in health care and compensation to 9/11 responders and survivors. The bill failed on a test vote, 57-42.

Fifty-seven Democrats voted for the bill and 41 Republicans opposed it. Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, switched his vote to ‘no’ at the last moment, a parliamentary move that allows him to bring the measure up again for a vote.

The New York Times reports:

Republicans have been raising concerns about how to pay for the $7.4 billion measure, while Democrats, led by Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand of New York, have argued that the nation had a moral obligation to assist those who put their lives at risk during rescue operations at ground zero….

In a statement, [New York City Mayor Michael] Bloomberg chastised Senate Republicans for their “wrong-headed political strategy” and called on them to allow the bill to come to the floor for a vote. “The attacks of 9/11 were attacks on America,” he said, “and we have a collective responsibility to care for the heroes — from all 50 states — who answered the call of duty, saved lives, and helped our nation recover.”

Continue reading here…

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Filed under GOP Agenda, GOP Corruption, GOP Greed, GOP Hubris, GOP Obstructionism

Charity Roundup: People Practice Random Acts Of Kindness Around The Country

Huffington Post

When was the last time you practiced a random act of kindness? MSNBC reports that as Thanksgiving approaches, a few Americans are showing their gratitude by giving back to others without any expectations.

The random givers include HuffPost favorites Magnus Knudsen, the World Trade Center mystery donor and a formerly homeless couple.

 

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