We’re both a bit groggy.
I mean, we didn’t get to sleep for quite some time last night, but this is becoming more and more of a habit.
Andrew will get home around midnight, and then we’ll all stay up for another couple hours just laughing and chatting about the various aspects of our lives. For instance, we asked him whether he likes NYC.
“Nope. I don’t really like it much here”
“Then why are you here”
“There is nowhere else in the country that you can be a jazz musician like you can in New York. My company would prefer to have me in another state, but I don’t want to move”
Bec and I were both surprised. It is so odd for us to think that someone would in a way hold their career back for the pursuit of their passion. In this case, the trumpet. Not to say that he is sabotaging his career at all, I mean he still does very well with his company, and is in an industry that he loves, which is great, but he still chooses to be in a city that he really doesn’t like as much, for the benefit of his music.
He will catch up multiple times throughout the week with various groups so that he can practice, and on top of that, he will practice every single day in his apartment (with a trumpet muffler of course). It sounds hectic, but when he cranks out the trumpet for us, it all makes sense. I’ve always liked brass instruments, and the groove levels are over 9000.
He don’t ask, as much as we tell him to play us another song.
He’s a lad.
Anyway. We are up, and its time to go check out everything about 9/11.
I’m super keen. Not morbidly, but I’m curious to understand this particular event better. I’ve always understood it from the other side of the world, so to really get my head around it and understand the way that 9/11 affected those in New York was going to be an eye opener for me, and that is something that I was looking forward to.
We got a steal with the tickets.
We found a deal online that got us both entry to the 9/11 museum for $16. Pretty bloody good. The museum is usually $24/each. We learned very quickly that it was not so. What we got tickets for was the little brother of the museum, which was a tribute building tucked away in an old fire station or something.
We deliberated on what we should do, until we finally settled that we would just do the gig at the mini-museum.
You could have powered through it in a good 30 mins, I rekon.
Bec was happy to just do that, but I wanted all the nitty gritty. I wanted to see the thing that keep you awake at night. So, she ducked off to a cafe, and I sent to do the big museum.
If you are in NYC and thinking about it, just do it. It is 100% worth it.
The one thing I have noted about Americans, is how extraordinarily well they do their museums and monuments. It is amazing. The 9/11 memorial is no different. They’ve built the museum under the footings of the original buildings, so you get to see the original steel structures and everything.
They have littered the walk ways with various pieces of rubble, destroyed fire trucks, and pieces of the buildings for you to inspect.
The whole mood of the place is sombre.
Its probably one of the most controversial events to have taken place in modern history, but regardless of motives or executors, the fact that so many people died, and that there were so many people who gave so willingly of themselves, ultimately to death, is incredible.
The thing that started to hit me as soon as I started to walk through and see everything throughout the museum was that nobody had any idea what was coming on that day. There were so many stories about people going to work, going to just another day at the office, when out of nowhere, people were met with decisions to save their lives, or the life of someone else. Something that you certainly don’t expect to have to decide on a casual day at the office.
There was story after story about people who narrowly escaped with their lives.
Story after story of fire fighters who would run miles and miles to reach the site, to then run up 70 floors littered each exhibit. WTC staff members were saying that as they were running down, the fire fighters were running up, and that “their faces told us they know they were never coming back”. There was this one lady who had said that she reached the bottom of the building, and there was this young fire fighter, who was no more than 19 years old. She grabbed him by the arm and said “You don’t have to go in there. This is nothing to do with you”, to which he said to her, “Lady, it is my job. I have to do it”, as he turned and ran into what would ultimately be his grave.
Through out the museum, there are a few spots where you can sit and listen to phone calls and messages left for and from people in the towers and the planes. On flight 11, there was a recording of a lady on the plane who called her partner to tell him that she was in a plane which was just hijacked. She held her calm the whole way through the conversation, but there was an overwhelming undertone of panic in her voice. She repeated says “I’m ok. Everything is ok” through out the conversation, but then, glaringly, in her last attempt to let her husband know that everything is fine, she adds, “…for now”.
She knew that she wasn’t going to be fine.
You can listen to the last 30 mins of the UA flight 93 black box. You can hear the people in the plane trying to break the door down, as the pilots decide to crash the plane prematurely into a field, killing everyone on board.
There are recordings of people in the south tower, who watched the plane crash into the North Tower, being told to stay put, and that there is no immediate threat to the second tower. One young guy calls his mum to let her know that he is safe, and that he has just watched a plane crash into the building next to him, but everything is safe.
He was on the 96th floor.
The plane hit on the 84th.
He wasn’t making it back down alive.
A lot of those who chose to ignore the notification of safety, ultimately made it out, but there were countless people who chose to (understandably), listen to the advice over the speakers that they would be fine. Most of these people didn’t make it out.
The fire department tell stories of how their fighters came from literally all across the city and state to help. One fire fighter ran from Brooklyn to the site to help. He had no other means of transport, as everything was on lock down. This now is knows as the the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Marathon. He ran all the way there with his gear on, and then ran up the building to save those he could, leaving a legacy remembered each year NYC.
The buildings cost over a billion dollars to build, in the matter of only an hour or so, they were gone forever. It’s reported that building the WTC buildings was the biggest construction project to take place since the building of the pyramids. Each floor was an acre in size, and even had its own postcode. That is the enormity of the buildings that were talking about. And there was two of them… Those who worked there said that they didn’t ever have to leave if they didn’t want to.
It is a tragedy of epic proportions and one that I was glad I was able to understand better. It happened when I was so young, that all I remember was looking at my parents, and setting the horror in their faces as we watched this happen on TV. It didn’t mean anything to me at that age. I wasn’t really able to compute the enormity of the crashes.
I was glad to have seen and understood everything better.
Being on the other side of the world, and being so removed from the world, Australia is so disconnected from so much of the things that happen around us globally.
Thats about it for today.
Come back tomorrow,