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9/11… 18 Years On

September 11th, 2019 Jorma Leave a comment Go to comments

My Uncle Pentti remembered landing at Leyte Gulf to the day he died. The WWII battles in North Africa and Sicily were a part of Uncle Tarmo’s short life. For my father, Jorma Sr. passing through the Philippines and landing in Japan after VJ Day was his story. For me, these are all episodes of Victory At Sea… a show I watched every week on TV as a kid. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s theme music is still burned in my aging brain.

My son was four when that plane hit the Pentagon in Arlington not far from where he and his mom lived. I remember calling to see if they were all right when the lines went dark. Our daughter was not even born yet. She has no memories of 9/11.

I got a call that morning from my friend Michael. I was going into a doctor’s appointment in Columbus. ‘I’ll call you back,’ I said and hung up. ‘Wait a minute. What did he say?’ I called back immediately but the cell service went dark. Nessa and I saw the first tower fall on a wall of TV’s in a Sam’s Club in Canal Winchester and the rest is more than history. Like so many we lost dear friends in the Twin Towers. Nessa went into the pit with Bob… a friend of ours who was a first responder at the time. We had driven to Manhattan that day for a funeral service.

Those days will forever be etched into my memory.

Today in my small way I honor those who fell on that beautiful Fall morning… and those who continue fall as a result of what happened that same Fall morning… September 11, 2001.

I do not forget today… and I will continue to remember.

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  1. Mark K
    September 11th, 2019 at 13:09 | #1

    I think that for most of use who were alive like the previous generation who remembered where they were during Pearl Harbor we have that day etched into our collective memories. Living in downtown Brooklyn and home that day, my wife called me from work telling me to turn on the TV. Rushing down the street to Fort Greene Park on the hill where stands the monument and the remains of the Heroes of the American Revolution my neighbors and I watched in horror as we had an unobstructed view of the 2nd plane hitting. Shortly there after my wife called on my cell and informed me that her job was sending them home but she didn’t know what to do because the subway was already shut down. I gave her directions to walk down Broadway from W 76th street to City Hall and then across the Brooklyn Bridge. She finally arrived home, after an 8 mile walk, barefoot with feet bloody, covered in soot, with a harrowing tale. We were under the plume of smoke for days, with ashes, burned pieces of paper and I’m certain human remains raining down in our yard and the nauseating smell of burning plastic lingering for weeks. Our local firehouse was decimated as the the crew there that morning raced through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to their fate. Not a day to ever forget.

  2. Brendan Carroll
    September 11th, 2019 at 16:08 | #2

    At the risk of seeming facetious; after reading 12×12 chapter 6 and in no hurry to get to office, turning on Fordham radio I wondered what Darin DeVito meant by “one of the twin towers is gone”. Does he mean an Everly brother died?
    Change stations: nothing.
    Call brother Pat’s Deidre. He’s alive. Mike Carroll MIA.
    “Maybe he’s alive” I tell our late Mother, Anne. Hours before that relief comes.
    Sorrow for deceased. Knowledge of attacker motives. Stay sane.
    PA Officer Paidraig Carroll behind Gov. Pataki and Gangster Giuliani at SOU 9/20.
    Sorrow for those to follow deceased. Learn who got out, who did not. Random.
    JK holds out hope for aversion of WOT and humbly expresses sentiment at show(s).

  3. Mike Anderson
    September 12th, 2019 at 16:22 | #3

    I served in the same U.S. Navy fighter squadron as the pilot of flight 77, Chick Burlingame, VF-103, mid 70s. He was a great person and pilot, well liked and a successful Naval career, retiring and flying for the airlines. My two boys were 4 and 6 when this occurred. Still vivid memories. A friend of my wife’s had just quit smoking and was outside the towers on a break when the 1st plane hit. If he still smoked, he would’ve been on a floor that was for smokers to go to and was hit by one of the planes. He just passed recently from cancer from the toxins in the NYC air.

  4. Richard
    September 13th, 2019 at 04:54 | #4

    I was working in Astoria NY which is north of the towers..Even from up north and across the river we could see the 2nd plane hit which came from the south but then came through the tower.We could see the fireball which came through the tower..We had no idea what it was..Still almost dont believe it happened..Makes me so sad this world has to be like this..We knew one man who passed. He worked for the Port Authority and he would have lived but went back in to try to save others and didnt make it..May G-d bless his memory..

  5. Karen Z
    September 13th, 2019 at 07:44 | #5

    My dad’s WWII memories of serving ‘beach body clean up’ duty in the Marianas did not surface until very late in his life. The stories he chose to tell us as kids were of troop ships on the crossing home to the mainland from Hawaii. We watched the towers fall after hearing about it on NPR; and went home to be with family and friends. We sat in the silence (no planes, no trains) on our front porches in Lakewood, Ohio and felt the bonds of community for that awful week. Makes the divisions in our country much more stark by comparison today.

  6. HOGAN
    September 13th, 2019 at 11:32 | #6

    Jorma,

    Thank you for always remembering on your Blog.

    :-(