My View Will Never be the Same – 9/11 PART 1

Everyone has their own story.

Everyone was sad.

Everyone was united.

Everyone remembers what a glorious September day it was that Tuesday before the first plane hit the first tower.

But not everyone.

Ten years ago, life as we knew it in The United States of America changed.

I was lucky enough to have not known anyone that lost their life that day. I didn’t even know anyone that worked there.

(Now, ironically, I am married to someone who was there.)

I can’t even imagine what it must have felt like to be worried about a loved one down there.

I was in the Hamptons when in happened. I couldn’t get home for days. Life stood still.

I lived in Weehawken at the time. I had a view of the towers from my place. They were magnificent. I miss our skyline.

Whenever I see an older movie taking place in New York, I always look for them, hoping to get a glimpse. And when I see the World Trade Center appear on the screen, there is always that moment of loss, and the bittersweet fix.

On September 16th, I stepped onto Manhattan for the first time since the attack.

As I got closer to the city from the L.I.E., I saw flags hanging from every bridge.

Rather than traffic information on the electric signs on the highway, they just said, “God Bless America.” The lump in my throat grew larger. The tears welled up.

I was so nervous to see what the city looked like. As I approached Queens, my legs grew numb. They are actually getting numb as I type this.

I was even more nervous about driving over the 59th street bridge. There were threats of bombing the bridges and tunnels.

(For over a year after the attack, I still had white knuckles every time I drove through the Lincoln Tunnel from home.)

But on September 16th, a decade ago, New York was a giant love fest for our country and each other. Strangers hugged, sang patriotic songs, and cried…and drank.

I was single, alone; all of my family out West. On my way in, I grabbed a bagel in Amagansett, started talking to this guy, and ended up giving him a ride to NY. I think I was scared to go alone.

There were candles burning, flowers, gray soot on police officers feet.

I saw the flyers posted with photographs, saying,

“Have you seen my brother, last seen on the 105th floor?”

I started recognizing some of the faces, because they were everywhere.

The weirdest thing was turning down on West Broadway, and not seeing the towers.

It was just smoldering gray.

We stopped by an area set up for volunteers. They said there was nothing to do to help.

We walked as far downtown as we could before a barricade. It was just North of Canal Street. I could smell the odor.

There was a bar open there on West Broadway. We went in and met some people. The rounds of alcohol were flying.

Then a guy walked in with a hard hat, mask, and that soot all over his shoes. He had special tags around his neck. He went to the bar, alone. He looked like he had seen hell.

I wanted to do something, anything, to help. I pulled up to the stool next to him and said, “Let me buy you a beer”.

His name was Chris, and he was working at Ground Zero. He had seen a lot of death. I bought him a few more rounds, and then my new friends and I staggered up to Bleecker Street to the Red Lion. At 4 am I wrote these words on a napkin. (That later became a song)

I took a right down on West Broadway

And they were gone, up in smoke, how I miss them so

It’s like everyone in New York has had their two front teeth bashed out

And we’re all finding it hard to smile

Flags are flying

America’s crying

Candles are burning

And people are yearning to find their loved ones

Towers crumbled on the ground

Flyers and photographs posted all around

I am beginning to recognize their faces and their names

Oh how I wish that Tuesday never came

My view will never be the same

It’s gone

But our love is even stronger than it was before

And our hearts go out to every person lost on every floor

But we bless America even more

It’s Saturday night,at 4 am, on September 16th

And I’m hanging out with my new friend Chris

He just got off of work at Ground Zero

Just another masked hero

So I bought him a beer, and another, and another, and another

And then we walked to Union Square

And then we held each other

And I love this city

And I love my country

And I love my skyline

I want it back

Headlines reading “America Under Attack”

Do you remember when we didn’t have to worry

And now flags are flying

American’s crying

Candles are burning

And people are yearning to find their loved ones

Towers crumbled on the ground

flyers and photographs posted all around

I am beginning to recognize their faces and their names

How I wish that Tuesday never came

My view will never be the same

It’s gone

But our love is even stronger than it was before

And our hearts go out to every brother and sister

Every Mother every Father

Every son and daughter

Every Husband every Wife

Every Lover every friend

lost on every floor

But We Bless America Even More.

When we all said goodbye, Chris said,

“I hardly know you, but I love you guys. You made me feel a thousand times better.”

Then we all drove home drunk. Nobody was concerned about getting pulled over. (Yeah, I know that was not responsible.)

The first day the airport opened in Newark, I caught a flight to be with my family. When my Dad picked me up, we hugged, and cried. We had never had an emotional moment of that intensity before. ( In part 2, more details on that flight, 6 people, 3 of Middle Eastern descent. )

September 11th really put life in perspective. What is important. What is not.

And I was alive. And so are you.

But for those that lost their lives, I am now lowering my head for a moment of silence.


4 Responses to “My View Will Never be the Same – 9/11 PART 1”

  1. September 11, 2011 at 5:09 AM

    Born and raised in the South Bronx of NYC and as a former UNITED STATES MARINE from the 1970’s i also
    Thank you AMERICA for this awesome life!

  2. September 11, 2011 at 7:46 AM

    Thank you!

  3. September 12, 2011 at 8:28 PM


    A Link for the great vocal performance…Thanks for the very positive message and constant reminder of what we have lost as Americans…. we need to gain back the patriot in all of us

    My View Will Never Be the Same!!!

  4. September 13, 2011 at 12:57 PM

    Great piece, well written as is the song. Thank you for sharing.

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Linda Chorney

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