Thursday, September 09, 2010

Memorial 9-11

I found what I believe is the best 911 Tribute ever.

I was at work before 6am (AZ time) on September 11, 2001.  I used to make decorated cakes for my friends birthdays.  You know the kind you make for kids - only far larger and far more elaborate and funny.  That day was the birthday of a friend of mine and I had made him a special order cake.  I also had an early meeting to prepare for.  Uncharacteristically, I drove the 7 miles to work in silence that day.  I usually had the radio on.  Maybe it was the recent death of my biological mother.  It wasn't like I was sad at the loss of a person that I knew because I didn't know her.  Maybe it was other recent events in my personal life.  Whatever it was, I was quiet and contemplative that morning.  I retreived a wheeled cart and quickly got the cake in out of the heat.  So, I was actually at work before the first plane hit and knew nothing about the situation.  When I was informed, I refused to go watch the cable news in the cafeteria because as managers, we knew we had to act as normally as possible for the sake of those we managed.  We couldn't be seen falling apart.  We had to be strong.  We also had to show confidence because as soon as we heard the attack involved commercial, civilian aircraft, we knew we'd have a difficult business situation in the near future (the business was avionics and the effects on the industry are still being felt).

The first report to me, was as people trickled in after the first aircraft hit the first tower.  The internet was unreachable so there was little chance of finding any news.  It was difficult to get through to our European customer for the early telecon but when we did they had more news for us.  I remembered that I had a portable shortwave radio in the car from a recent trip.  Our office was right across the street from one of the busiest General Aviation Airports in the world with several flying schools so as I walked out to retreive the radio, I had a shocking experience - a sky devoid of all activity and the silence of no aircraft taxiing or preparing for takeoff.  The radio news confirmed the worst.

Knowing that my industry was about to suffer economically, I phoned to cancel the building of a swimming pool at my home that very night.  It was only then that I allowed myself to watch the images and videos.  I hadn't had my television on during the preceding three weeks so the resulting assault was all the more horrifying.

The days passed and the news became more and more grim.  The following Sunday at church was standing room only at all services.

As the months passed and then the years, our industry did indeed suffer terribly.  We had many layoffs ultimately including myself in 2005.  Definitely a long term effect.

Eventually, the State of Arizona decided to establish the Arizona 911 Memorial.  This thing was and is atrocious.  I never heard a word about it until it's unveiling under Governor Janet Napolitano.  Filled with lies (yes, lies!) and idiotic statements ("President addresses nation" - I guess they couldn't bring themselves to say "President Bush"), I decided it was unacceptable and would go to the Arizona Legislative Mall Commission meeting and let them know.  It was at that meeting that I met Mike McAvoy who has been my dear friend ever since.

Mike watched from across the river as the towers were hit and burned and fell.  His brother John, FDNY Ladder 3, had just come off duty but no one could contact him with the cell phones out.  His life-long best friend Jimmy worked at Cantor Fitzgerald and was also unreachable.  Mike later learned that they were both murdered in those towers.  Jimmy trapped above the impact zone with no way out.  John among the 343 FDNY who rushed into the burning towers in an effort to save lives.  Mike didn't learn this right away.  I want everyone reading this to imagine what it must have felt like to call everyone you know, to run from place to place looking for your brother and your best friend for hours and days and finding nothing but more distraught people doing the same thing, more debris, more death, more destruction.

These fine, decent men were taken from us like nearly 3000 other Americans that day.  I will never forget them.  And, since it is so far beyond my abilities, I will leave the fogiveness up to God.

John McAvoy


Fort Bragg Special Operations Green Berets Dedicated to FDNY 3

Now, I apologize for the pain that the following image may cause people but we must face what was done to us and these fine people.  This is what was left of 2 enormous office towers and several other buildings and nearly 3000 people as a result of the hatred of those who follow a false prophet:

Moslems build mosques where they have won battles.  To allow them to build a mosque on any square inch of land where any of the debris fell or where any human remains have been found or might still be found in the future, is to accept dhimmification.

343 Firefighters

FDNY - We Will Never Forget

Ladder 3

John McAvoy Firefighter Ladder 3

John McAvoy

Found on Flickr by Sheena 2.0:

Please go look at her page and see the 12 heroes.  Sheena writes:
Fire Captain Patrick Brown and much of his Ladder Company 3 went up the stairs at 1 World Trade Center just as others were trying to come down. Somewhere around the 35th floor, they radioed a report of 30-40 severely burned people. A few minutes later, they shouted "Mayday!" And the tower collapsed. That was the last anyone heard from 12 men of Ladder Company 3 and Battalion 6.
Like most Americans, I didn't know anyone who was murdered that day.  It wasn't personal in that sense to me.  It was, however, personal in the sense that my country was attacked.  But, for my friend Mike, it was personal on a level most of us will never understand other than a pale imagining of what it must have been like.  I ask you all to do that - imagine it.  And...


1 comment:

wolfie said...

What a moving post. Thanks.