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out of the memory hole

I've decided to put my 9/11 archives online. Until now, they only existed in the Trapper Keeper of the internet known as archive.org; I had switched to a new host that October or so and I never bothered transferring my older blogging stuff (February - October 2001) over to the new site.

I hesitated especially to repost the 911 stuff. I don't know why, I just never wanted it here. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I need to save all of that; it's a complete record of my discovery of and reaction to the events that unfolded on 9/11/01 and the days after. It's all the news, the rumors, the emotions, the subsequent self-discoveries that came with all of that.

I'm putting up my posts from the first few days, and then certain posts from the months after that had anything to do with that day. After that, I'll attach some of my later essays revolving around 9/11 to what will be my archived personal history of 9/11.

It's kind of disconcerting to re-read all of this. It brings it all back in raw form, which is why I never bothered to upload all of it. But, as with many things, I've changed my mind on the importance of keeping it all in one place.

The archive of day one is here. I'm going to try to get the rest posted over the weekend.


Has it been 4 years already? Feels like yesterday.

I wasn't blogging back then.

I'm not quite sure what I would have done that day. I probably would have blogged for a while - maybe all day - and then had it hit me all at once. Or maybe I would have never turned the computer back on after getting home.

I'm glad that you did blog. This is something that must be remembered.

I'm glad you've gotten to the point where you feel OK with re-publishing these archives. It is good to have a record of what that time was like, even though it's bound to be painful to re-live.

It's very good that you are reposting your 9/11 archives, Michele. Your 9/11 coverage remains some of the best content ever posted to the blogosphere.

Thank you for republishing these, they show the real pain that many seem to have never felt.

So many memories of that day...

I remember being on cloud 9 for a few days before. I found out on the 6th that my wife was pregnant with our first (and, thus far, only) child.

I was listening to Stern when one of his crew broke in with "a plane hit the WTC". He reacted like I did with that small amount of info; must be a small plane, maybe some stupid pilot did it, etc. Then, as I was pulling off of the Meadowbrook, I heard "another plane hit", and I remember saying "we're under attack".

Someone in the office had a TV, and we could only get channel 21 (local public TV, for non-LIers), which was simulcasting BBC news. I was in shock as the I watched towers fall.

My boss got a phone call that his cousin's son worked for Cantor Fitzgerald, atop one of the towers.

Then the rumors started. There were x amount of hijacked planes. F15s shot down the plane in Pennsylvania. More planes headed for Washington. My wife's office was on 35th between 7th and 8th, and she didn't go in for at least 2 weeks because of all of the bomb threats that the Empire State was getting.

On my way home that day, there was a definite haze in the western sky. My co-workers wife went down to the beach in Long Beach and could see the smoke coming up. My neighbor is a NYC cop, and he was out on disability leave. It was one of the first times I had spoken to him, and I'll never forget just how upset he was that he wasn't there helping.

My wife, meanwhile, was going over one of the bridges when the second plane hit. She got lucky on the way home; they re-opened the bridge right before she was going to go to CT to catch the ferry down. She was home in 45 minutes.

Then the stories. My uncle had an acquaintance that went into the WTC once a month - the second Tuesday. She did not make it. My co-worker's daughter had a friend that thought she lost both her father and uncle. It turned out that her father called in sick to work at the WTC, and her uncle missed his flight from Boston. I heard from my commuting clients about the train buddies - those people that you've only ever met on the morning platform - that were and were not there.

I remember not being able to watch TV for days because of the overwhelming emotion as people looked for their loved ones.

It may seem selfish, but I just could not get the idea out of my head that, someday, I was going to have to explain this to my child. I still dread the day. I saved the Time Magazine, and even the Amazing Spider Man that Marvel did, which I thought was a nice tribute.

One other thing I'll never forget. I worked near a cemetary at that point. For weeks, there were at least 3 firefighter funerals per week. I could see the procession when it went down the street, and the firetrucks out on the road had their ladders up in salute.

Oh man... I'm pretty sure I wasn't reading your blog back then. Heck, I don't think I read blogs. I think I turned to them in the aftermath, when all the mailing lists I was on revealed themselves to be assholes. I think that's when I realized I really wasn't anything like all hte liberal/Democrats I knew.

So I started the blog habit at Lileks that fall. It's gotten out of control since then. ;)

Just reading your day one post made me cry. Huh. Even after 4 years my emotions concerning that day are still very close to the surface.

I am glad that you are planning to keep your 9-11 posts together. We need to remember....