Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Moment of Silence

At 10:28AM local time we observed a moment of silence to reflect on the events of 9/11. It struck me as odd that I am working in the building directly across the street from Ground Zero and that I find myself more annoyed then concerned. Annoyed that the plaza next to my building is where they are having the "Names Reading" ceremony so it is hard to get into my building. Annoyed that we even have to come in to work on this day. My co-worker Melissa was in this very building on that day. She evacuated from the 53rd floor after the 1st plane hit. She isn't here today. She shouldn't have to be. Centre (the company I work for) was in One Chase Plaza, about 3 blocks from Ground Zero. These people had to come back to work a week later. It was like a war zone, there were tanks and troops standing on corners with giant guns. The smoke was still billowing from the site, it smelled of burnt flesh and electric wiring. This is what they had to go through in order to get to their office and cubicle. I was in the middle of America far removed from the events, however, here I am now, directly above the ceremonies, looking down into the pit that is Ground Zero. I have mixed feelings this morning about going down to the lobby to get a Starbucks, trying to have a normal work day, only to look out and see the Firefighters and Policemen in uniform standing alongside the families waiting to hear the name of their loved ones. I'm in line for a $4 drink while they are remembering the raw emotion of losing the love of their life, their friends, co-workers, Mothers, Fathers, Brothers and Sisters. I take my coffee back up here to the 33rd floor and begin working just like every other day. Still at 10:28 our company was encouraged to take a "moment" of silence as Zurich, our parent company, lost 4 people on 9/11. I keep thinking about how I don't want to be here, how this should be a national holiday. But I can't help feeling that if it was I would probably be at home sleeping in, cleaning, watching the ceremony on the television. Would it be the same? Would my moment of silence be less reflective if the survivors weren't surrounding my building? We have a facilities guy named Angelo, he was in this building on 9/11. He watched the bodies fall from the sky and land in the plaza. He saw the horrors that unfolded on this day 7 years ago, and he's still here. New Yorkers are brave and they are resilient. I sit here and complain and get annoyed at how my morning commute will be disrupted and how I should work from home to avoid the madness the surrounds my building. Yet, Angelo comes back to this sight everyday. That is strength that I don't know if I ever want to experience. These images were taken by a co-worker yesterday from the windows of our office. Scroll back up to the first one, look closely, you can see light where the towers once were. Crazy Beautiful. And yet with all the blockades, the politicians, the firefighters and police surrounding my building it is quiet. No honking horns, no one yelling at each other. Just quiet.

The flags were put up yesterday to welcome the families and politicians down to Ground Zero.

1 comment:

JoAnn Venhuizen said...

wow...looks like you've been very insightful and have a lot of thoughts...good thoughts. thanks for sharing your day.