ZERO PLUS 1094 DAYS, (3 DAYS TO GROUND
ZERO PLUS THREE YEARS)--New York, NY,
Wednesday, September 8, 2004--In
72 hours, for some of us, time will stand still. It will freeze
as though we were showered with liquid nitrogen.
hubbub of New York City will suddenly cease. Taxis rushing
here and there will freeze frame. People taking hurried steps
up or down town will be locked in motionless perpetuity. Einstein's
Theory of Relativity will apply to the survivors of Nine Eleven.
be one of tens of thousands who will be immobile on
September 11, 2004
will be one of tens of thousands who cannot move for a moment.
My mind will be thrust back to the day of "infamy"
when Terrorism snuck into my children's living room and snarled
its fangs at my grandchildren, and their children.
11, 2004, is a moment when those of us who witnessed the horror
of Ground Zero live, who stood looking up at the people leaping
from the towering buildings, will relive in a thousand different
of us will be able to describe the details of that day with
any relevance to its impact on our souls, for we died that
day but yet still live.
who witnesses horror first-hand loses some of their humanity.
Chunks of human innocence fall away, like rotting skin, revealing
the dark hole of the human soul where Fear, Intimidation and
Complacency vacuum life and beauty into a core whose gravity
is beyond comprehension.
have been asked many times: "What was it lke being at
do you tell people what it was like to witness the Battan
Death March, or the extermination of people in German concentration
camps, or the killing of innocent children by mad Terrorists
As a witness,
a piece of you dies with each victim
only know that as a witness a piece of you dies with each
victim. You know that because you felt a hole in your soul
when the body of a person you saw leaping from a burning building
soars magnificently for a few seconds and then is swallowed
behind another building, disguising the sound of crushing
flesh and bones and splattering blood.
part of your humanity soars with the flying soul heading for
instant death. You whisper a prayer to the figure flailing
as it descends from nearly a quarter-mile up at 120 miles
per hour. You know the figure soaring down at terminal velocity
has chosen the freedom of personal free-fall death over the
torture and agony of it by flames and smoke.
who jumped defied the Terrorists in their own unique ways.
They elected to not be consumed by Terrorism's fiery tongue
and deadly smoke...and flew to eternal freedom, however horrible
that freedom was to watch.
are countless other moments of that day that slap themselves
against the back of my eyeballs and hang for an instant, then
dissipate in a blink.
still see the ball of convoluted death...
see the black ball of convoluted death rushing toward me like
a giant fist as the first Tower collapsed. Suddenly it appeared,
boiling with black and gray indentions resembling some naked
monster's brain from a B-grade horror film.
shoves its hatred at me as though it had me in its crosshairs,
roiling angrily as it presses agains the sides of buildings
in battering-ram thrust to consume all life in its path.
the first tower rushing toward me
see it as the face of the Beast of Terror, a mangled face,
riddled with the molecules of thousands of victims it just
crushed, hurling them at me with nuclear force. I often hear
the laughter of the Beast in the background, a chilling shrill
of glee as though joyous that it caught us all by suprise,
off guard, unaware, unprepared.
cannot remember the faces of the women next to me who cried:
"We're all going to die...we're all going to die."
But I awaken to their voices many times. They were masked
by smoke and dust, human figures without countenances, crying
on the cusp of death.