11 September 2012

9/11 Observance

This post will publish on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11.  It is the first time since I started writing Gold Notes four years ago that my regular publishing schedule falls on that fateful day.

Rather than share design content on this sad occasion, I'm dedicating this weekly post to the thousands of victims, survivors, first responders and caregivers who were in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, Shanksville, Pa. and the hijacked planes that day.  Nothing else feels as right or important to me today.

My connections to 9/11 run wide, deep, long and strong.  My brother worked for Cantor Fitzgerald for almost 20 years in the firm's Los Angeles office.  He lost more than 600 colleagues in One World Trade Center that morning.  (He often worked from the New York office when traveling; that day, he happened to be at his Chicago office instead.)

I was working for Gannett's Shreveport, La. daily newspaper as its Online Director on September 11, 2001.  I walked into our building and my assistant said, 'a plane just hit the World Trade Center.'  I pictured a misguided Cessna, not a hijacked jetliner filled with passengers.

Like millions of others around the country and world, we watched the ensuing TV coverage in horror. We were also working feverishly to cover it from our own corner of the crisis. (That was also the day the Extra Edition died, in my journalistic opinion.  All of our coverage went online as fast as we could update it.)

You may recall that President Bush landed at Barksdale Air Force Base after leaving Florida.  That was the base where my then-husband was stationed in the Shreveport-Bossier area, and the reason why I traded one LA for another.  Because he landed in our backyard, we had the President's whereabouts on our site before any of the majors did, and news footage of that day will show friends of ours in his local security detail.

A month or so later, we would watch other friends fly their bombers to Afghanistan to crush the Taliban and Al Quaeda.  Those massive planes carrying their massive bombs into the Southern night were a surrealistic sight, one that haunts me still.

This is a photograph I took last Spring on my most recent trip to New York, the city where I was born and lived until my late 20s.  The building under construction is the Freedom Tower rising at Ground Zero.

I've been to that site on almost every New York trip since 9/11. The first time was December 2001 and the air was still filled with the stench of death and destruction.  We debated on cancelling or postponing the trip, due to the events just a few short months before, but decided to go.  We wanted to support New York... And I needed closure.

I watched the original buildings on that site, the Twin Towers, being built as a child, had my first grown-up date in Windows on the World, (their famous restaurant), worked in their offices as a college temp, traveled regularly through their subway stops, and visited the Observation Deck on various occasions, including the day of the New York City blackout in July 1977.  

It was good to see a new building rise from the memory of those ashes last year. We are a resilient nation.  My next trip will take me to the 9/11 Memorial which, I believe, is still under construction.  In the meantime, let me share these final words:

May those who lost their lives that terrible day rest in peace.  May those who mourn them take some small measure of comfort in knowing that their memories are not forgotten.  May those who gave so much of themselves that day accept my thanks and those of a grateful nation.  


  1. great posts

    The mosts famous building in the world getting a new shape

    that is great

  2. I wholeheartedly agree! Thanks for your comment.


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