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voices carry

I'd like to continue with the project I started last year. If all the voices gather together, we will never forget. I'm going to change the name of the project from No Ordinary Day to Voices.

I will add to the voices as you wish; memories, memorials, a few sentences a lengthy essay. Unlike last year, it doesn't have to be about your memories of that day, though it could be. Just use your voice so we don't forget. If we speak loud enough, if there are enough of us, we can become a symphony of shouts and tears and whispered pain, so we can always be heard and never, ever forget.

You can add your comments here and I will transfer them to the project, or you can add them to the comments there, or you can email them to me.



Listed below are links to weblogs that reference voices carry:

» Never forget coninued from Freedom Lives
Michele adds her voice to the topic from yesterday. She is continuing a project from last year and invites everyone to join in.... [Read More]

» So We Don't Forget? from Commentary du Jour
I think Michele's efforts to collect essays, thoughts, and feelings on September 11 are noble...for anyone interested in submitting something,... [Read More]

» Pain Has an Element of Blank from Sketches of Strain
PAIN has an element of blank; It cannot recollect When it began, or if there were A day when it was not. It has no future but itself, Its infinite realms contain Its past, enlightened to perceive New periods of... [Read More]

» VOICES from Babalu Blog
Since September 11th, 2001 is a day that we will never forget, Michele is asking all of us to come together and express our feelings in a tribute she has appropriately named Voices.... [Read More]

» Dread from Interrobang?!
Michele has her Voices project going on to commemorate 2 years after 9/11. Do I really want to relive it? No. I don't want to... [Read More]

» 9/11/01 from suburban blight
Another Voice for Michele. At seven am, I still slept like a corpse. Spiderman - then just a year old - woke me; I heard him rattling the bars of his cage (crib), and I knew I needed to get... [Read More]

» 9/11/01 from suburban blight
Another Voice for Michele. At seven am, I still slept like a corpse. Spiderman - then just a year old - woke me; I heard him rattling the bars of his cage (crib), and I knew I needed to get... [Read More]

» Sharing from Absinthe & Cookies (a little bit bitter, a little bit sweet)
If you'd like to share your 9/11 stories, you can contribute to Michele's "Voices" project. All the background is here. [Read More]

» I Tried, I Really Tried from Lawver.net: UltraNormal - Now With Even More Normal!
I tried to send Michele an e-mail for her Voices project. I couldn't do it. I just can't. Why? I'm... [Read More]

» We Watched, We Recorded... from The Brazos de Dios Cantina
WE in the blogosphere will NEVER forget. This is too important not to post something, at least. Michele of A Small Victory has begun her own archive collection of those who are part of the blogosphere, partly because she feels... [Read More]

» i have always loved michele from Rachel Lucas
Because she does things with her blog. She created TroopTrax and raised over $2,000 to send music to the guys [Read More]

» "I Believe,...There are angels among us." from Random Nuclear Strikes
Quiet reflection. The AnaolgKid was kind enough to provide a link to Michele's 9/11 Project (Voices). A worthy and... [Read More]

» Upcoming: from PontifexExMachina.com
Michelle of A Small Victory is starting a project called Voices in observance of the second anniversary of the terrorist [Read More]

» Hesitancy and Loss from oxymoronic.org
For the last week I've approached this little blog box with a good amount of dread. The build-up toward the... [Read More]

» your voice from ASV : Photoblog
Introduction to Voices [Read More]

» Voices from Mindless Chatter
Michele at A Small Victory has a project underway called Voices. It is a memorial of sorts to September 11,... [Read More]

» Never forget continued from Freedom Lives
Michele adds her voice to the topic from yesterday. She is continuing a project from last year and invites everyone to join in.... [Read More]


i still think holy fucking shit day was the most appropriate.

I also feel it is important for people not to forget. Thanks for the reminder and for using the picture I took from a boat on July 20, 2001. This picture is now one of my most valued possessions... Thanks for sharing it with everyone.

Sept 11...I wear a small silver band with the name of Rev. Mychal Judge, FDNY eched on it so that I remember to pray for all those that miss him & all the others lost on that day.

I recall seeing the picture of Rev. Judge being carried from the building where he died, slumped in a chair that was being used as a make-shift stretcher. I know he was one of many & will never forget...

Some nights when sleep comes hard, I see them. A man and woman at a window, above the fire. They hold hands and jump. The camera follows them, their hands come apart and the camera loses them.
As far as I know that picture was never shown again.
I wonder who they were. I wonder if they were man and wife, lovers, coworkers, friends or just two strangers with fire at their backs and no hope of rescue. I wonder who they left behind, if their bodies were found and identified or if they were some of those more than a thousand unidentifiable. I wonder how their families are coping. I wonder how long it will be before I stop seeing them.
I have many other thoughts and memories, as do we all. Those two people, my brother and my sister whom I have never met, are September 11, 2001. When I see them the tears are difficult to fight back. I get up and stay up because sleep won't come.
I cannot forgive. I shall not forget. Vengance belongs to God, they tell me. Well and good. It's my job to see that we carry the war, which We. Did. Not. Start. to those who would do such things in order to ensure that never again can they. There is a culture in this world which worships death. We will give them what they worship.

My LJ post from 9/11/02 is here.

I was at the office and had just called my mom as I was going over for lunch and to check up on her since she had been feeling ill. She was 72 at the time.

"Hi Mom. Its me. How are you feeling?"

"I'm better" she says. "Just watching the news of the plane crash."

"What plane crash?"

"The one that hit the tower in New York."

I tell her I'll be over for lunch and hang up. Go straight to my pc and try to find info on the plane that hit the tower. At first I thought a plane had crashed into the control tower at an airport. I tried every news site and couldn't connect to a single one. So I call my mom back.

"Mami. Its me again. What's happening with the plane crash? Where is it?" I ask.

Just as she's about to answer I hear "Ayyyyy nooooo." In a wail that just took everything from me. "No Dios mio! No!"

"Mom are you OK?" I screamed "What's happening Mom?... Mom?"

She comes back on the phone, "Ay, mi hijo," she sobs, "another plane," she could hardly breathe, "another plane has just hit... Ay no Dios mio no lo puedo creer.. another plane has hit the other tower." I hear the phone drop to the floor and in the background, my ailing mother sobbing at the top of her frail lungs as if it was me she had lost.

I left the office immediately and went to mom's house, where I found both my parents sitting on the sofa, teary eyed and staring blankly at the television. My father with his big blue collar arm around my mother's shoulder. My mom with her head dug into my dad's chest sideways.
At the sight of this, my parents in their old age, with everything they've had to endure in their lives, with all the tribulations and hardships they had gone through, to witness this in their twilight years....I busted out into uncontrollable sobs.
And to this day, that memory, that instance that changed the world, those brief few moments that showed the extremity of evil and extremity of love and duty and honor of those heroic people giving their lives for others, I still cry.

God, I'm crying reading all these accounts from everybody. I know it's cliche, but I still remember all of this like it happened yesterday.

I remember that it was Tuesday afternoon (I live in Germany with the military, so there's a big time difference) and I was at volleyball practice after school. There's sort of this balcony that overlooks the gym floor, and I remember a girl I knew coming in to talk to one of her friends while we were practicing. (I remember thinking right away that something was up, because usually our coach would have freaked out if someone interrupted.) She told us that a plane had crashed into the WTC and one into the Pentagon. I had just finished reading Tom Clancy's Debt of Honor, and whenever I'm in the middle of one of his books, I always have trouble keeping what's fiction and what's reality straight because they're so realistic. I was still thinking about the book, and I remember getting the buildings confused for some reason and thinking for a few minutes that Congress and the Joint Chiefs and everyone had actually died.

Our practice was dismissed, and I was looking for somewhere to go. I ended up hunting down my history teacher from three years before, because I knew she'd have her TV on. I watched the coverage for awhile, and was absolutely shocked. I just couldn't believe what I was seeing. I mean, when I first saw the coverage, I thought it was from a movie or something. I thought at first the whole thing might be a hoax, like "War of the Worlds" or something.

Then news came that the base was going on full lock-down. I live on the economy, so I was starting to worry. If I didn't find a way off the base in thirty minutes, I would be stuck all night with no place to stay. Fortunately, my mom picked me up, and then we picked up my brother and went home. As soon as we got in, I turned CNN right on and sat down in front of the TV. I hardly left that spot for three days.
At one a.m., my aunt, cousin, and cousin's boyfriend got home. They'd been visiting us and had spent the day in France. They didn't know. None of us went to bed until 3 a.m.

For the next three days, school was cancelled. The base was at Threatcon Delta, the highest threat condition. Someone told me that our base had not been at that high an alert for nearly thirty years.

On September 12th, I remember walking down the street to buy pizza for dinner (we were all too busy watching the news to cook). I walked into the pizza place, and when I saw the picture of the NY skyline at night on their cigarrette machine, it was like getting slapped in the face, it was such a shock.

I remember my mom making me close my eyes every time CNN would replay the footage of the people jumping out of the burning buildings. I peeked once. I really wish I hadn't.

I remember crying when I heard the Star Spangled Banner being played at the changing of the guard in London. We used to live in England, and I feel such complete solidarity with the Brits, I can't even describe it. It was like getting a hug from my mother or something. That's the only way I can express the comfort I felt when I heard that. It remains the single most comforting moment I remember in the chaos of that week. I will love the Queen forever for that moment.

When the base reopened, it was incredible. There were so many Germans crowding around the entrance with American flags and candles and signs that there were delays getting in. When the nation-wide candlelight vigil was held in the U.S., we stayed up until 1 a.m. so that we could light a candle at the same time. Our German neighbors came over and sat with us the whole night.

The worst thing about being overseas through all of this is the feeling of helplessness. We were so far removed that there was absolutely nothing we could do but watch. While people in America could donate blood, people who've lived overseas more than 6 months are forbidden. Where most Americans can display red white and blue, we're not allowed to due to Force Protection. When I saw the people in NYC cheering the rescue workers and firemen, it was too much. I had to do something. I ended up making a red white and blue layout for my website, and we hung a flag in our house. It was all we could do.

Michele, I wrote one, too, but I don't want to overload your comments with the full text. The post is here...http://www.suburbanblight.net/archives/000879.html.

I didn't cry. I got mad. Not that I ran around ranting and yelling... I don't get mad like that. (Not when I am really angry.) The subsequent weeks killed the last few vestiges of respect I had for Old World culture, internationalism, that sort of thing.

Like many on the West coast, I was sleeping in on Sept. 11th. My husband Kevin had gotten up to do some work from home before heading into the office for the day. He noticed that his stock ticker wasn't running, and went to the CNN site to see why. What he found was a text-only site with the tiniest amount of information. He came rushing into the bedroom, saying "They bombed the World Trade Center." Groggy, I sat up and said "Yes, but that was several years ago." "No, now!" he said and turned on the tv. We tuned in just in time to see the horror of the second tower falling.

Hi Michele...EXCELLENT EXCELLENT thing to do. I have posted about it in my blog. I will have to sit down and write my thoughts separately and email them to you.

If I may, there is another archive that you may or may not want to reference. It has immediate impressions of people that first year after 9-11. However, I think your project is simply wonderful. The subject should not be dropped, and there has been a lot that has happened since then.

Both my mother (who was 72) and my mother in-law (83) died in the beginning of 2001 within three months of each other, and as I sat there, on our couch, tears streaming down my face in disbelief, I remember thinking how glad I was that they were not alive to witness this event. They both had lived through some terrible times in their lives, with my mother-in law having her husband overseas for many years right after they were married...but I was actually thanking God that they did not have to see this terrible tragedy unfolding before their eyes on the television as I was.

I remember the first coverage of it I saw on TV didn't seem real. After a few hours, it sunk in that it WAS real, more horribly real than anything I'd ever seen before. Like everyone else, I cried and raged and worried.
Then the next day, when I tried to go to work, I couldn't get on the bus. I let four buses pass before I gave up and went home. The thought of being on public transportation, among strangers, strangers who might have evil intentions... it was more than I could manage.
I called in sick. And the next day, and the next. Eventually I just quit calling and they fired me. I didn't care.
I was safe, safe at home. Right? No safer place to be, right?
The people who died on September 11 felt at home. They thought they were safe.
9/11 killed a hell of a lot of people. It also killed a lot of trust, optimism, and faith.
We've all moved on, we witnesses. In different ways, we deal with it. But I hope we never forget.

Thank you Michele, I too offer a few words, not worthy, but from the heart. I hope it's enough.


Preface: I live in Las Vegas. I had just moved there from the San Francisco Bay Area the year before (2000). At the time, my best friend and his wife, from the same area, were in the process of moving to Las Vegas. His wife was in Vegas, and he was finishing up arrangements back in the San Francisco Bay Area, planning to drive back down Tuesday.

My mom lived on the opposite side of town from me at the time. I lived in a small mobile home without any TV (in order to save money). Whenever I needed news or entertainment, there was either my friends, the internet, or any one of the many casinos in town.

Speaking of the internet, I could often be found at David Copperfield's message board at his website. For several months, a group of us from the board had been making plans to get together and attend his show at the MGM. Everybody would be flying in that week, and attending the show, the group would be getting a personal tour after the show of Copperfield's famous warehouse.

Monday, Sept. 10, 2001: I was getting home late from work, and I checked my phone messages. My mom knew I had the following day off, and had left a message asking if she could pick me up and spend the day with me tomorrow. I figured that sounded good, but as it was 11:30 PM when I was listening to the message, I figured I'd call her in the morning. I then went off to bed.

I did know that one member of group from the Copperfield had arrived that day (she'd said so on the message board before I'd left for work). I couldn't help but be excited about the coming show and get-together that weekend!

Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001: The sun was shining, and I lazily woke up at about 9:15 AM (Vegas time). I grabbed a small breakfast, figuring I'd save room for a decent lunch when my mom would pick me up. I turned on my computer, and I was about to hook up to the internet, when I realized that I hadn't called my mom yet to confirm the plans for the day.

I called her and said, "I got your message, and yeah, 11:30 sounds fine." Her only reply was, "...and?!?" Confused, I replied, "And...what?!?" She then asked, "You haven't been online yet, have you?" I was amazed, and had no concept (other than possibly guessing) how she could have known that. I told her I hadn't, and asked why she had said that.

She then began to say excitedly, "There's been a crash at the World Trade Center, and there's trouble at the Pentagon! It's like a war zone out there!!!"

If you knew my mom like I do, I'm used to her describing things in a somewhat confused way, and have even developed an ability to "decode" it. The first thing running through my mind was that a big stock market crash had happened. She was having trouble describing everything that was happening, and I told her I'd check the online news site, and that I'd be ready by 11:30.

I went online immediately, and the first thing I saw on my home page was a headline I couldn't quite make heads or tails of. It said, "World Trade Center Towers Collapse". I read the story, and got caught up on everything that had happened that morning. It was all so dizzying...WTC Towers hit by planes...Pentagon on fire...President on Air Force One in an undisclosed, classified location...all airplanes grounded...terrorism attacks.

In that one story, and of course many others throughout the internet, my day completely changed. I felt like I had literally woken up in a different world than I went to sleep in!

My mom arrived, and I had finished getting ready, and was still scanning the net for as much news as I could find. My mom had picked up my best friend's wife so that she wouldn't be alone on that day, and my mom began to drive us over to her house.

Driving through the immediate area around my house was weird. Here it was, almost noon on a weekday, and little more than convenience stores and gas stations were open. That's pretty unusual for a 24-hour town like Vegas.

What really hit me was when we crossed the strip at Tropicana. You have to understand that, during any given week, there are about 250,000 visitors in this town, and a majority are on the strip. There was literally nobody on the strip. I'd never heard of the Strip looking like a ghost town before. I would later come to find out that there wasn't a rental car to be had in the entire town.

The three of us in the car fell somewhat silent when we saw the New York New York hotel/casino. For those unfamiliar with it, it's modeled after 1930's New York. Thus, there is no depiction of the WTC center on the exterior. That sort of gave the three of us a little pause.

There's also a sidewalk right at the corner, in front of a pond which features some tugboats and a scale model of the Statue of Liberty. That sidewalk was completely blocked with cards, roses, and many other tributes. In just the few short hours, the New York New York had become Las Vegas' own tribute area to the memory of the fallen, and the efforts of the rescuers.

We got to my mom's house (so much for going out to lunch!), and immediately turned on the TV. This was the first time I had actually seen any of the footage. I finally saw shots of the first building burning, the second plane flying in, the footage of the Pentagon burning and so forth. This finally helped sink in.

It finally dawned on me that this was my generation's equivalent of "Where were you when....?" Up until that day, there really wasn't such an event.

As the day progressed, the effects of the day's events started to sink in. First, my best friend called from the Bay Area, and mentioned that he would be staying up there an extra day or two, because he didn't think it was wise to drive such a long distance on this day.

Later, during a discussion at Copperfield's site, we all realized that the opportunity to meet each other wasn't going to happen.

Even at this point, though, it still hadn't really sunk in that I really WAS going to be living in a different world from then on.

My mom dropped me off, and she let my best friend's wife stay the night at her house, just so she'd have somebody to be close to.

The rest of the week: I went to work the next day, but it was almost as if there were no point. We would pretend to be selling, the visitors would pretend to be shopping, but all everybody really seemed to want to do was share the experience and talk.

Nothing felt quite right for the rest of the week. I dont imagine it did for anybody, of course, but I was used to working in a town that was there to lighten up people's cares and dazzle them with fantasies and escapism. That magical quality seemed like it has disappeared.

Come the weekend, I pondered whether it was even worth it going to the magic show at the MGM. Talking to my mom on the phone, she thought it might be a good idea, that it would help get my mind off things.

I went, and it worked wonders (strangely enough!)! Not only was the show itself good, but it happened that I was seated right next to the one member of the board that had arrived on Monday. Meeting and talking to her, escaping through the show, and meeting Copperfield backstage all seemed to really lighten up my mood.

It also seemed to be a sign of hope, a sign that, while things would never truly be the same again, that we could pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and get back to our daily lives as best we could.

I was lucky enough to be with family when I heard the news. I remember the anger, the hatred and the sadness. I didn't feel any fear.The images of Palestinians dancing in the streets made me sick. I have mellowed out since. But I will never have any respect for the Islamic world again.

Being in Minneapolis, I almost feel like I shouldn't say anything. But the 9/11 tragedy knows no distance. It profoundly affected anyone with a heart and mind. Like many people, I first heard about it from my mom. I slept late and was listening to my messages. "They got the world trade towers, the towers are burning, they got the Pentagon... you are not going to New York." I turned on the TV as she talked and was utterly agape. I was supposed to go to the CMJ music festival on 9/13. Lori, my gf, heard the TV and got up to see what was going on. "Oh my God, my dad works at the Pentagon!" Actually, he used to work at the Pentagon. Late in the day we finally heard from him... he was fine, but his old office was completely destroyed by the plane. He'd spent the day trying to find out if old army buddies and Pentagon employees were okay. Some of them weren't. Missing, or dead. We felt lucky to be alive, lucky for our family and friends.

Last 9/11 I rewatched footage of the planes smashing into the towers, reliving the horror. Over and over, for some reason. I guess I needed to go back and reconnect. It's all too easy to forget that day now that time has passed, so thank you to Michele for inviting us to remember and share.

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