I was raised in a military family. This is how it goes:
Uncle (by marriage- but still): Army
Cousin (he's currently enlisted... he's 21): Marines
Grandfather: Army (I do believe)
and I seem to date men that came with a uniform... I am past that [phase] in my life. I dated
Anyways I chose to write about today as a form of respect for the victims of the attacks and their families as well as for ALL the first responders & for all of our Men & Women serving their country in Afghanistan, 8 yrs later.
You may not agree with the war or with the President that started it and all of that is behind us but no matter your views I would hope that no matter what you still support those wonderful men and women.
I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was in my 2nd period sophomore english class we were doing a work sheet, the news was on b/c parts of the worksheet had to do with stuff on TV commercials. So no one was really paying any attention to the news while it was on (b/c they only needed the commercials to complete the assignment) but ever since I was a kid I have always watched the news. I still do to this day. So I was in my group & had my desk pointed towards the TV. Then I saw the letters B-R-E-AK-I-N-G in red flash then hit happened! BAM! they showed footage of The first plane hitting. I froze. What was happening?! Then a few seconds I screamed "TURN THIS UP!! A PLANE JUST HIT THE WORLD TRADE CENTER!!" Then BAM! again, but this time it was live not a video and that was not the first tower it was the second. I was totally freaked out and scared... After the second one hit I grabbed my purse and my books and ran the fuck outta there! I was crying at this point, I didn't know what was going on, I knew people that worked there. I grabbed my cell outta my purse (yes I had one way back then) and called my mom - she worked outta our house so she had access to a TV too and she didnt know much more then I did.
Pres. Bush was in my state about 2 hrs from my school reading to elementary schoolers. I was freaking out. I saw my friend Erin and told her what I knew and bolted it to the YRBK room. I spent a lot of time in there, it was also my 3 & 4 period so that was a plus. The rest of the day was a complete blur. Principal Hattabaugh instructed all TVs to be on to the news and thats all that happened all day. Most students left early, as the attacks didn't just stop at the towers, there was a plane that went down in a field in PA and the Pentagon had a plane flown into it.
I stayed in YRBK & Mr. Rods room. They were across the hall. Mr. Rod was in the Army National Guard. We talked about what happened, mostly speculation. He told me that there was a good chance he would be activated. I knew what this meant, there was no need for explanations, Our country had just been attacked. When the bell rang at 2:15 I went to my locker but didn't know why. I have nothing to do. No homework. ALL after school activities were cancelled, so no band/colorguard tonight. So I shut it and left. I felt empty. I had so many questions and no answers.
In the following days, weeks & months I saw our country come together in a way I had never seen in my lifetime. It was amazing, it was something I had only read about. But that didn't change the fact that we were on the brink of war, that we had been attacked on our soil, in NYC, In PA & in DC all in one day! and that our country would live in fear. "They" had succeed.
I had to do a project my JR year in college in my crisis comm class, I chose to do my on 9/11 and its impact on NYC an so forth; Here are some facts that I used to open my speech with--
9/11 the numbers:
The initial numbers are indelible: 8:46 a.m. and 9:02 a.m.
Time the burning towers stood: 56 minutes and 102 minutes.
Time they took to fall: 12 seconds. From there, they ripple out.
Total number killed in attacks (official figure as of 9/5/02): 2,819
Number of firefighters and paramedics killed: 343
Number of NYPD officers: 23
Number of Port Authority police officers: 37
Number of WTC companies that lost people: 60
Number of employees who died in Tower One: 1,402
Number of employees who died in Tower Two: 614
Number of employees lost at Cantor Fitzgerald: 658
Number of U.S. troops killed in Operation Enduring Freedom: 22
Number of nations whose citizens were killed in attacks: 115
Ratio of men to women who died: 3:1
Age of the greatest number who died: between 35 and 39
Bodies found "intact": 289
Body parts found: 19,858
Number of families who got no remains: 1,717
Estimated units of blood donated to the New York Blood Center: 36,000
Total units of donated blood actually used: 258
Number of people who lost a spouse or partner in the attacks: 1,609
Estimated number of children who lost a parent: 3,051
Percentage of Americans who knew someone hurt or killed in the attacks: 20
FDNY retirements, January–July 2001: 274
FDNY retirements, January–July 2002: 661
Number of firefighters on leave for respiratory problems by January 2002: 300
Number of funerals attended by Rudy Giuliani in 2001: 200
Number of FDNY vehicles destroyed: 98
Tons of debris removed from site: 1,506,124
Days fires continued to burn after the attack: 99
Jobs lost in New York owing to the attacks: 146,100
Days the New York Stock Exchange was closed: 6
Point drop in the Dow Jones industrial average when the NYSE reopened:684.81
Days after 9/11 that the U.S. began bombing Afghanistan: 26
Total number of hate crimes reported to the Council on American-Islamic Relations nationwide since 9/11: 1,714
Economic loss to New York in month following the attacks: $105 billion
Estimated cost of cleanup: $600 million
Total FEMA money spent on the emergency: $970 million
Estimated amount donated to 9/11 charities: $1.4 billion
Estimated amount of insurance paid worldwide related to 9/11: $40.2 billion
Estimated amount of money needed to overhaul lower-Manhattan subways: $7.5 billion
Amount of money recently granted by U.S. government to overhaul lower-Manhattan subways: $4.55 billion
Estimated amount of money raised for funds dedicated to NYPD and FDNY families: $500 million
Percentage of total charity money raised going to FDNY and NYPD families: 25
Average benefit already received by each FDNY and NYPD widow: $1 million
Percentage increase in law-school applications from 2001 to 2002: 17.9
Percentage increase in Peace Corps applications from 2001 to 2002: 40
Percentage increase in CIA applications from 2001 to 2002: 50
Number of songs Clear Channel Radio considered "inappropriate" to play after 9/11: 150
Number of mentions of 9/11 at the Oscars: 26
Apartments in lower Manhattan eligible for asbestos cleanup: 30,000
Number of apartments whose residents have requested cleanup and testing: 4,110
Number of Americans who changed their 2001 holiday-travel plans from plane to train or car: 1.4 million
Estimated number of New Yorkers suffering from post-traumatic-stress disorder as a result of 9/11: 422,000
I wish I could site all of that for you right now; I have the references page somewhere on my laptop.
But, those numbers, its very sobering isn't it? life is short. Don't take anything or anyone for granted.
I hope every one took a moment at 8:46 & 9:02 for all those lost.
**Im sorry I don't know the times of the down plane in PA or DC**
**in the words of the great Alan Jackson- "WHERE WERE YOU WHEN THE WORLD STOPPED TURNING?" **
Thx for sticking with me [us]
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