One Man's Perspective on this Tragedy

I am just a guy.  An American, who lives and works in New York City.  I will not attempt to bring news, or photos, or any earth-shattering city observations.  But since I own this small space on the web, I need to use it to express my thoughts and feelings.

As I arrived at work on September 11th, I heard the awful news of a plane crashing into the World Trade Center.  Like most, I immediately felt sad for the lives I knew were lost.  I have a 14-month old daughter, and all I could wonder was if any kids were hurt.

Then, while listening to the news in the background, my wife called.  She said she was watching TV, and had seen a second plane hit the second World Trade tower.  I became speechless.  I had thought of terrorism, but in all honesty it was beyond my comprehension that anyone could do this on purpose.  I guess, I was in denial.

Like so many around the world, I listened to the radio as things continually got worse.  As each tower collapsed, the sense of loss and sorrow grew.  The news of the Pentagon strike, and other 'lost' planes.

It was ridiculous to try and work, so I left early and went to the Red Cross to donate blood.  When I got there, I was told there would be a 4-hour wait.  An hour later, it had grown to a 5-hour wait.  I was then told that it might be better to donate at a hospital close to home.

I went to my mothers, to see if I could use her phone to call the hospital, and check to see if the 59th street bridge had been opened.  On 9th avenue, in the middle of the sidewalk, a man sat on a small wooden kitchen chair, maybe in his 70s.  He was quiet, not looking anywhere in particular.  He had in his hand an American flag, and every few moments he wiped away a tear.  With the sounds of the fighter jets over head, it was a surreal feeling as people still walked calmly in the streets.

As I crossed 5th avenue, I could see the same giant swirls of smoke I had seen from the Internet.  On the 59th Street bridge I could see the smoke moving into Brooklyn.  I somehow pictured the smoke itself to be fear and anguish, as I watched it spread.

I made it home, and went to my local hospital, only to be told that they weren't accepting any more blood.  My wife got home after me, with our daughter.  I held my daughter for as long, and as close, as a 14-month old will let you.  I was thankful that we were all safe, and that she was too young to understand what was happening.

I then sat, glued to my TV, watching.  We received many calls and emails of friends, family, and even students asking for our safety.  We made several calls ourselves.

Today, the sorrow is still strong.  The anger is as well.  I'm afraid they will be for a long time.

So, whats the point of this page?  Basically the following, which is addressed to those responsible, though I know they will never see it:

Lives may be lost, but I believe souls go on forever.  I offer my prayers to those whose lives were lost or destroyed by this evil, cowardly act.

I had originally wanted to shut down this site, in memory of those who have suffered.  I then felt that we all need to resume our lives, as a sign that while we will mourn our losses, we will not stop and crumble in response to these actions. 

Please visit The Red Cross, and donate what you can. 

-Mario Giannini