Thursday, September 08, 2011

Remembering HNT

It's not often that millions of people watch history being made as it happens, at the same time. Very few people actually saw the bullets that struck President Kennedy. Tens of millions have seen the Zapruder film after the fact, but there were only a few actual witnesses. Perhaps the biggest audience ever to watch history being made was when man landed on the moon, and those first tentative steps by Neil Armstrong. Not a terribly clear picture, but people witnessed it together, wondering if the moon was made of cheese, or if tiny aliens would eat him alive (not that I'm giving away the plot to "Apollo 18"). Jump ahead to the Challenger disaster. While just about everyone around would recognize that white plume heading into the incredibly blue sky, with the ball of fire at the top, I doubt that millions were watching it as it happened (I was though). Shuttle flights were routine at the time, so live TV audiences were small.

Then there's the events from 10 years ago. I don't imagine there were even a thousand people who actually witnessed the first plane smashing into the North Tower. Millions of people have only seen it because of a film crew that happened to catch it at the last second--being in the right place at the right time. But the second plane? A totally different story altogether. By that time, millions of people were glued to their TVs, and unexpectedly witnessed the horrific event that officially put the U.S. under terrorist attack. And then the subsequent collapse of each tower. Not only were millions witnessing history together, they were watching murder of hundreds upon hundreds together. The nation, the world, has not been the same since that day.

I don't want to get into a "where were you?" thing here, but I will say that, being in a rural state thousands of miles away, it was totally surreal. And frankly, a little disconnected from our lives here. Business carried on that day, other than aviation. I seem to remember that federal buildings might have been evacuated, and perhaps the state capitol building, but no one was really panicking. We lived in Montana. Nothing was going to happen to us here. People just shook their heads in disbelief at the visuals. They might have looked at each other with a tear in their eyes. There was a bond of sorts, even among strangers, yet it was still so disconnected.

Until stories came out about relatives who lived there (including a cousin of mine who lived in lower Manhattan at the time). But everyone was pretty much OK, and it still stayed somewhat disconnected. For me, it didn't really start to hit home until years later, when documentaries started appearing on TV. Images and videos that were not part of the original news coverage, taken by "regular" people who just happened to be watching history unfold before their eyes. And who weren't really sure if they would become casualties in a war that had just been declared. Bringing it down to a more personal level is what really brought me out of the disconnect. I now find myself with tears in my eyes if I watch any of it for a short amount of time.

This past week or two have found nightly documentaries about 9/11. Some about why it happened, or how it happened, or even one debunking the conspiracy theories (if you're one of those people--get a life). But the one that I liked best didn't focus on history, but on the future. The future of the site, and the memorial being built to honor the dead.

Maybe it's because I don't live there or haven't visited there, but I never heard anything about the reconstruction. Couldn't find any pictures of the final design. Couldn't find out anything about the clean-up, or any sort of work being done. But this one series of films took care of all that. The entire area has been transformed, and is continuing to transform into a livable area again. So in lieu of my own images, I offer you a look at what the future holds for the site. It's a whole lot prettier than anything I could have come up with.

Be sure to click these to get the full sense of things!

On the left is the architect's rendition of the completed WTC site. The building on the left will tower 1776' above ground, making it the tallest building in NYC. It is already over 1000' completed, and can be seen in the Manhattan skyline. The park area below is highlighted by two pools that occupy the footprint of the two original towers. The pools will have the largest man-made waterfalls in the U.S., and will be lined with the names of everyone who was killed in the attacks, including the Pentagon and Flight 93. On the right is a rendering of the park surrounding the pools. Four hundred oak trees from the various attack sites will be planted here. Most of them are already planted. As well as callery pear known as the "Survivor Tree", which was nursed back to health after surviving the 9/11 attacks at Ground Zero.

Another architect's rendering on the left, showing the 9/11 Museum between the two pools, which will open in September 2012. On the right, an actual photograph of one of the pools with the night lights on and the water running. More photos and stories can be found at the memorial website. I urge you to go check it out.

Finally, I leave you with one of the most powerful images from that day.

I'd give you a big hug

everyday if I could
along with some kisses,
you know I would

So I hope you like this
that I bottled for you....
kisses when needed
and a big bear hug too!

Or maybe her Cheese-kun, too! This week's huggable Mystery Guest will be revealed Thursday afternoon. Come back to find out who she is!
After worrying about having anymore MGs, Silly Mistress jumped in to volunteer! Be sure to go visit her at Fighting Sanity!

We've got some new participants over at "...the Other HNT" this week! And for no apparent reason...lots of toys! Glad to see some of you coming out of the woodwork! Be sure to check them out, and leave some comment lovin'! Very NSFW, as usual.


the late phoenix said...

up...with a tribute

Libidinous Man said...

V and I go well not quite toe to toe in this weeks HNT. HHNT everyone.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know I would be tearing up durning my fav time of the week.
I'm up and feeling good!
loveing that click through

Osbasso said...

Cheeky Minx is up, but can't stop by here quite yet. Go say hi. You don't want to miss her!

Gucci Mama said...

Up with the winner of the Name Gucci's Boobs contest!

Vixen said...

Tearful as well... very well written post m'dear.

I'm up...joint HNT with BFD...for her final one.


JM said...

Part of remembering is moving forward! The best way to deal with the past is to celebrate it if you can, then create something new worth remembering for all the right reasons. Rebirth so to speak.

But given the occasion, perhaps it is somewhat fitting that I'm UP and (half) dressed in black. Although not one of my better efforts I must say!

KaziGrrl said...

I remember nearly every detail of watching that first walk on the moon. Ditto for watching the Challenger disaster for the first teacher in space. And for the twin towers.

I will be watching "Remember Me" this week... a really well-done movie about the life of a victim of 9/11.


Oh, and I'm up...

eyas said...


I was born and raised in Manhattan; I still cannot watch what happened without getting sick to my stomach, even after ten years.

I'm up:

Emmy said...

Good post. Not something I can still talk much about.

Lovely MG!
I'm up with rainbows!

Chapter Two said...

As Vixen said my final HNT is over at her place. I am also at OHNT and I think I will continue to post over there now and again.

So very very sad to say goodbye to this part of my life. I can not express what it has meant to me and what it has done for me as a person in my real life.

Life changing- really

Shibari Reiss said...

I am up... remembering kisses...
Thank you for post.. It is truly a day I will never forget...
MG - just beautifully sweet :)

Anonymous said...

Nice post. Thanks for that.

Silly Mistress : ) said...

As arrogant as it might sound, I can't let myself think about that today. It's my sister's birthday, and she needs her smiles.

Sunday though, I might have a mouthful. =X

Pocket RockettZ said...

I am Up and pretending to be angelic

I never got to see the towers in real life. I find it odd when watching old movies to see them because they acted as the center of the skyline.
All I remember of the time is that we watched news about it in school, and it freaked me out.
I am someone who doesn't understand acts of violence like that at all. I don't ever understand what people who do it hope to get from it.

boneman said...

I'm up....
and, down, cause I'm bushed.

DoubleD said...

Im up

Happy HNT

Anonymous said...

Well said!! I am up.

Cheeky Minx said...

This is such a beautiful post. Even though I shouldn't be reflecting on where I was that day, I can't help but remembering the fact I tore myself and my horror away from the TV to attend a lecture by the Australian artist/writer, William Yang. His words and images, his eloquence, his artistry and sheer humanity was one of the most life-affirming things I could have done that day.

(Thank you for the upping... xx)

Joanna Cake said...

I did watch the Challenger launch - Christa McAuliffe was the first civilian in space and she was a woman too. Even from this side of the pond, I felt excitement for her. To watch what happened... so shocking.

Over here there have been many stories too - I was haunted by the tale of the Falling Man. But the stories of courage and despair and sometimes a happy ending are what get to me most.

I really like the idea of the two pools in the footprint of the Two Towers.


Cheeky Minx said...

PS Your MG is delish...

HyperSexualGirl said...

I think more than a thousand people actually witnessed the first plan hitting the tower. Consider all the people on the streets in lower Manhattan and even those in midtown who could see the towers. The first plane crashed at 8:46 a.m., when many people would be walking to work in New York.

And I'm up!

Adomis said...

And my first time to put up my HNT image after Sarah did hers last week.

Hope you enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

That was a day that changed the world forever. I don't think that I will ever forget where I was or watching the towers come crashing down on live television. The evil one (OBL) is dead now; but that won't bring all those people back.

Sad to see so many blogs goo of the air at once. We're still around and are up at Married In Ohio.

viemoira said...

I defintely want to plan a trip back to NYC to see the memorial once completed.

I'm up at the cavern- hope everyone has a great week.

Hugs back to the hot MG! :)


hamachi15 said...

I put up a few words about my own account of the event.

Lusting Lola said...

Great tribute post, Os. I remember that day well, too. Who doesn't? Hard to believe it's already been 10 years.

I'm up - continuing with my scavenger hunt.

BTExpress said...

I couldn't believe something so tragic had actually happened until the next weekend. I was standing on the beach on Fire island and looked west toward NY City. I could see the smoke rising up and being blown south, then slowly disappearing.

I'm up with a much more uplifting HNT this week.

Mr. Smith said...

"Never forget"

Were up

padme amidala said...

We are up! Check it out!

Happy HNT!

nilla said...

i live in the Northeast, a few hours drive from NYC. We were home, just starting the first round of home visits preparing to adopt a child. A day of mixed feelings...shock, horror, terror.

Where i live is on one of the flight-lines for planes landing at Boston's Logan Airport.

The silence. Gods. I've never ever NOT seen planes in the sky before.

And for the first time ever, i was a chaperone on a field trip to NYC. We stopped at the site of the WTC, awed at the scope of it.

It's HUGE. Mindboggling. And i cried. It just stabs at the heart to see it. I've made a conscious decision to limit my news viewing to online/ and 30 minutes of network news a day.

my heart just can't stand more than that.


Molly Rene said...

I'm up.

I lived in DC when the plane hit the Pentagon. It was fucking terrifying.

I was also in Madrid when their subway system was bombed.

Maybe I should stop going places.

boneman said...

more awake, and curiously wondering when the madness will end.
Planes as weapons...go figure, eh?
But then, one of the conspiracy dealios is that there were minor explosions all the way down the edges of the buildings, and suddenly I realized that, big cities with big buildings have to do something internal to keep the buildings from toppling over.

But the conspiracy talk kept up...reports about Cheney, Bush junior reactions...
Too much?
Not really.
How many people shot JFK?

But the one thing that is happening now, absolutely nuts if you ask me...
Building another tower there...1776 feet in the air (the building isn't that tall, but, some patriotic dummy tacked on a radio tower to make it round off at that number.

Sorry if that rubbs anyone the wrong way...
There is no need for a bulding that tall.

Therein lies the ONLY humor I can find in the event at all.

The heroes? The firemen who sacrificed their lives?
Firemen have been pleading with city officials all over the country to NOT build over FOURTEEN stories. Nothing can be done to help people that high and higher.

DeWitt was on the 108th floor. The second building that fell.

I do so dislike people who hate and breed hatred among other people.
Do so dislike them. The haters are every bit as bad as bin laden.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful tribute, Os. It's hard for me to believe it's been 10 years. It seems like just yesterday. As one who lived/worked in the city at the time, it's still raw. I won't be watching any of the coverage again this year. At least not purposely.

I'm up - with my new toy

MinorityReport said...

I'm up late with another blogger. :)


JusthighHeels said...

It was and still is for me an emotional day, whatever it was all about conspiracy or no conspiracy, it should not of happened. Remembering those wonderful people who died and fought for lives.

Question said...

I'm up visit me