Never Forget

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

From Patricia Morrison's recollections of the 911 attack in the post WTC RIP:
I forced myself up to the roof again that night to look, and unless you live here and know how it is, you cannot imagine how strange it is not to see them there, those giant towers. I’ve seen them there as long as I’ve lived here as an adult in the city where I was born; I watched them in all weathers, as people in hill country watch their hills. I saw them go up, and now I’ve seen them come down. And all that was there that night was evil glowing smoke.

But except for that first night, I had not yet been able to look at where they stood. In my East Village neighborhood the towers were omnipresent; you’d look downtown on First or Second or Third Avenues and there they were, looming over the low-rise buildings between, mountains standing tall behind a range of foothills, somehow making the other building around them look not smaller but taller themselves.

And yet I knew that I had to look, that I dishonored the people who died there and even, in some strange way, the towers themselves, by not being able to look.

So yesterday, Sunday September sixteenth, I went out for an immense walk. I went up to a park near my home, passing a hospital whose walls are covered with photos of the lost, and praying as I passed, then took a bus to the Hudson River side of town. I got off at Abingdon Square, walked the couple of blocks to the river edge, and just started walking south, as far as I could get.

And I MADE myself look, every step of the way. At where the towers were, at where they now were not. At the flame and smoke still pouring out of their graves, and the graves of those who died there, as out of the throat of a volcano.

They’re not there. They’re not there. They will never be there again. After a while your eyes start playing tricks and you think you see their ghosts rising up through the smoke. But they’re not there.
 

0 comments: