11 Sep

11

                                       

The date of the terrorist attack is frozen on a calendar covered in ash at a bank on Broadway, about a block from the World Trade Center. The bank has not reopened. (By David Karp, AP)

Today is Tuesday.

September.

11.

2012.

11 years ago today…

…Do you remember? What do you remember?

I began poliblogging in June of 2005. That year, I wrote my first 9/11 remembrance post (linked by Hugh Hewitt, btw; the radio talkshow host who first turned me onto the idea of blogging):

4 years to the day. And here we are.
I realize that many on the planet have moved on. After all, other countries have suffered many such losses of their fellow citizens as we had, many times over, through constant warfare, instability, and genocide. But this is our tragedy. And those were our citizens.

~~~

None of us should ever forget; nor allow the memory of that day ever to fade into a faint scar. Should that happen, you should take a knife to it and make fresh the wound….the anger….the loss. I don’t ever want that pain to diminish so long as the task of defeating terrorism remains unfinished. Sounds like an impossibility, you say, defeating an ideal? A way of thinking? If you believe that, then you are already defeated.

In a mass email in 2003, I had sent out the following:

It’s 2:49am as I write. Can’t sleep.

Yesterday while driving from the gym, a person on the radio was describing how sifting through the rubble of the Twin Towers, he found an adult body; and in one hand, the adult was clutching the tiny hand of a child….there was no body of the child; just the child’s hand. That image shook me back to the reality and horror of that day. The tears blurred my vision as I drove home.

I knew Ron Gamboa. Ron was on a weekend vacation trip he didn’t even want to go on. He traveled with his male companion and their 3 year old adopted son. All three perished on the second plane to hit the Towers.

When I think of Ron and his 3 year old…the image of the tiny hand holding hands with the adult’s…and when I think of all those who are no longer with us, but should be with us…and those who have had to go on in their absence…it brings back a flood of tears.

The week after the tragedy, I picked up the TV guide and took pause. I looked down at the cover as I dropped it on the counter to pay for it. The cover was a photo of the exact moment the second plane hit the Tower. I was looking at the moment of death of someone I knew; a picture of him being murdered in grand fashion.

I hope this pain never diminishes in me. Not on this day. I want to remember vividly so that I can cherish the moments I have with everyone around me.

On this day, we have nothing to apologize to the rest of the world about.
God bless those who fell; those who have survived on in their absence; those who serve and defend; and those who proudly and unashamedly call themselves Americans. God bless us all.

There’s more in my 2005 post, detailing the last time I saw Ron Gamboa.

In 2006, as part of the 2,996 Project, I wrote a remembrance post on David Reed Gamboa-Brandhorst, Ron’s (and David’s) son; although I’d say the post is more accurately about the 3 of them:

How many of you remember what it was like to be 3 years old? How many of you can remember what you did just 3 years ago? How many of you have projected 3 years into the future, thinking that 3 years was a long time away to be planning for, that far in advance? How many of you have ever imagined what it would be like if 3 years was the average life expectancy? How would you spend your time if 3 years was all that you had left to live? 4 years to graduate from high school…4 years is the norm to earn an undergraduate degree from college. What could 3 years give you? What could you give back to the world and to your country, in just 3 short years?

3627666142_2a53e6fd0a

Photo courtesy and property of Taurus Photographix

At 9:03 a.m. EST, Flight 175 slammed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

I cannot tell you how painful it is to see so many images over and over again of that second plane hitting the South Tower. That was the moment we all knew it was no accident, and that we Americans were under attack. And for me, any images of that 2nd plane is an image of the moment of murder of Ron, Daniel, and David. It never fails to water my eyes or choke up my voice when I see an image still. The videos can do it too, but there’s something about a picture, where it’s frozen in time exploding into the Tower that is difficult to stare at without my eyes welling up.

Still happens to this day. Happened just now as I read that, cut, pasted, and blockquoted.

Concluded that post with this:

There are flowers adorning the boulder by the playground in West Hollywood Park that serves as a monument to David Reed Gamboa Brandhorst and his parents, Ronald Gamboa and Daniel Brandhorst. For all its simplicity, the boulder with a brass plaque is possibly the most fitting and eloquent monument to 9/11 that I have yet to see. The last words at the bottom of the plaque are familiar ones of David’s at the playground, frequently pleading, Just five more minutes, Daddy.”

*UPDATE 10:58, PST*Went down to West Hollywood Park, to the Children’s Garden, to pay my respects:

Complete inscription:


David Reed Gamboa Brandhorst
June 23, 1998 to September 11, 2001

This playground celebrates the life and joy of David Reed Gamboa Brandhorst who was lost with his parents, Daniel Brandhorst and Ronald Gamboa, on September 11, 2001.

David’s boundless energy and love were a gift to his Papa and Daddy and all those who knew him. David loved to play at this park- a little boy racing to climb and swing under the watchful eyes of his Papa and Daddy.

May David’s playground always be a place of joy, laughter, and safe haven for every little boy and girl who asks for just one more trip down the big slide- or as David would say, “Just five more minutes, Daddy.”

*End UPDATE*
Simple tribute videos I had done in past years…

YouTube Preview Image

YouTube Preview Image

YouTube Preview Image

Be sure to read this FA reader’s account of that day:

The GWOT from a 911 survivor’s point of view:
Courtesy post of DC’s comment

It’s 11 years later.

Another Tuesday morning.

And I still remember…

This entry was posted in 9/11, Blogging. Bookmark the permalink. Tuesday, September 11th, 2012 at 6:03 am
| 538 views

17 Responses to 11

  1. johngalt says: 1

    Do you remember? What do you remember?

    11 years ago, and I still remember where I was as clearly as if it were yesterday.

    I was working as a field service tech in Chicago. That morning I had an appointment at the Chicago Public Works taxi testing facility, to perform a routine maintenance on a piece of equipment. I left home, in Beach Park, Il, at about 0730, cst, for the approximate hour and 15 minute drive to the facility. At about 0800, cst, I was getting ready to turn onto US 43, after having passed the Navy’s Great Lakes Training Base.

    I still hadn’t heard about the first plane yet.

    I was listening to a local syndicated radio program when the host broke away from his show and announced that there was news of a plane that had hit one of the Twin Towers. They thought that it was a small plane, though they must have been watching on TV about the report. I had no thoughts of it being a terrorist attack, at that point.

    At 0803, cst, I had just turned onto US 43 when the host’s hysterical voice announced that another plane had hit, while they were watching the feed from the NBC morning TV program.

    This was the point that I knew it. Someone was attacking us. On our soil.

    15 more minutes of driving, and thinking, and hearing about the planes being commercial airliners, and I realized that it still might not be over. But even then, I was still in a kind of haze. Going through the motions on a trip I’d taken many, many times before.

    A somewhat low-flying jet flew over the highway. I didn’t see it. Only heard it. And then I realized that I was traveling into Chicago. Could they be attacking, via hijacked airliners, every major city? I didn’t know. But I knew that Chicago had a very visible building that would have made a similar target as the Twin Towers. I was looking at it right then, as I drove (anyone who’s been around Chicago knows you can see it from many miles away). And the road that I would eventually drive on passed right by it, only a few short blocks away.

    I decided I didn’t need to work that day. At least not in the city. I turned around and drove back to the harbor at Waukegan, Il, to a spot that I spent a lot of time fishing from. It just so happened that you can see Chicago itself, and the Sears Tower, very clearly there. I parked, listened to the radio reports, and spent the rest of the morning kinda dazed. The Pentagon was hit. Another plane went down somewhere in Pennsylvania. I was sure that Chicago would be hit too. So I listened and watched the city.

    The rest of the day is a blur, now. Kind of what you’d expect from trying to remember a day 11 years ago. But those first 5 hours of my day, September 11, 2001, I’ll remember for a long time to come.

    ReplyReply
  2. Dc says: 2

    11 years later, I still have restless nights, and my hands still tremble sometimes for no apparent reason. I am grateful to president obama for making the tough decision to take Osama out and continue pressure on AlQueda leadership around the globe. I’m also thankful for GW Bush for also making the tough decisions (despite people like then senator Obama trying to undermine and obstruct him all the way) to put Iraq on it’s current path. And for his support for the aspirations of free people in that region to overthrow such dictators as Saddam and take reigns of their gov. Such gov’s of the people…are responsible for what they do in the world. They cannot take actions against a neighbor and then claim..it wasn’t the people who did it…it was some madman who acted alone with his power/money and military.

    ReplyReply
  3. Curt says: 3

    Beautiful post Word and a fitting tribute to Ron, Daniel and David. I recall driving to work that day listening to the report of a small plane hitting the tower. When I got to the station everything had changed. It was a long day listening to those reports and being on duty prepared to respond to downtown LA. After the fourth plane went down we all thought it was inevitable. A long sad day.

    ReplyReply
  4. Cary says: 4

    I was living on Staten Island, and just days earlier was proudly suggesting to tourists on the ferry that they go out and see our magnificent NYC skyline. Now a beautiful Tuesday morning with a crystal clear blue sky, very much like today, had me excitedly heading into the city for my first rehearsals for a new show. Then everything changed before my eyes. A few weeks later, I was on the road touring and saw with the same eyes how United we were as a country. People everywhere were so wonderful to us, from one coast to the other and everywhere between. When I say, “I love my country,” it’s not obligatory patriotism, I really mean it.

    ReplyReply
  5. MataHarley says: 5

    Thank you for the encore of your videos, Word… and for this post. I’ve taken the time to watch many of the documentaries on Sept 11th in the past few days. Retrospect and the delving into how many lives were affected creates an endless chain of stories.

    Two in particular have stood out – Voices from the Towers. Family and recordings of those in the two Towers. Some that survived. Others that did not.

    Another was about American 175, which included impressions and perspectives from the scrambled F-16 pilots to the air traffic controllers who could only watch in horror… knowing the inevitable in advance.

    Those on that flight had called relatives, and know their fate wasn’t looking promising. There was blood in the aisle from the slaughter of a flight attendant. One poignant moment was a father and mother, recounting being on the phone with their son on that flight while also watching the TV coverage. They were talking to him at the moment of the impact, and it wasn’t until the plane make that final severe turn to line up with the South Tower that he looked out the window and saw what was coming. All he could say was “oh my God” as the parents watched his plane fly into the building.

    There were two survivors in the South Tower that saw the plane coming right for them, yet still miraculously lived to tell of that moment. One said that when he got out from under his desk, where he hid in a fetal position, part of the wing was embedded into a wall not 20 feet away from him.

    There is one who captured his impressions and perspectives from 240 miles above Earth, International Space Station Commander, Frank Culbertson. Even from space, the dust cloud was impossible to miss. He captured this photo, supplied by way of an Investors Business Daily article today. He believes this was at, or shortly after, the collapse of one of the Towers.

    Culbertson described his emotions in diary entry for Sept 11th, and the following day, as a helpless feeling of isolation. I would guess that in between the shock and surreal months that followed, that wasn’t an uncommon emotion.

    I had a cousin that worked in an adjacent building to the Towers, but she and family were out of town.. not that I knew that until after. But what I found amazing was that you didn’t need to know any particular individual to personally to experience the heartache and the hollowness. It was truly a day that made all American strangers a “family”, and touched all of our lives in a way that would forever alter our perceptions.

    ReplyReply
  6. Nan G says: 6

    I was snug in my bed (on the west coast it was early) drinking a coffee when I saw the first report of a small plane striking one of the WTC buildings.
    I was astonished at how that could happen on such a beautiful clear day.
    Hubby went in to shave and shower when the second plane hit the other tower.
    I spit my coffee as I watched this in horror.
    I went and told him.
    He said, we are under attack.
    We had a friend who was career Navy and, at that time, serving in the Pentagon.
    He was on duty there when that building was hit.
    He used his shirt and jacket as smoke filters to go in (he was near the edge of the damage) and pull out survivors.
    He saw decapitated passengers still strapped in their seats.
    He also saw parts of the plane other than the seated passengers.
    Eventually the smoke became too much and he came out and sat on the lawn taking O2 from a rescue truck.
    Over 40 attacks have been thwarted since then.
    A few have succeeded.
    “Workplace violence,” my eye!
    http://www.franklincountyvapatriots.com/2012/01/31/obama-declares-fort-hood-massacre-work-place-violence/

    ReplyReply
  7. Nan G.
    this is another proof of what OBAMA IS
    HE HAD TOLD THE MUSLIMS HE WOULD TAKE THEIR SIDE WHILE THE WAR WAS GOING ON,
    HE WENT TO THEIR OWN LAND TO REASSURE THEM, WHILE THE AMERICANS WHERE
    BEING BLOWN OUT SHREDDED IN PIECES IN IRAK AND AFGHANISTAN,
    HOW MUCH MORE DO AMERICANS NEED OF PROOF, THAT OBAMA DOESN’T GIVE A DAM ABOUT YOU ALL, AND HIS ARROGANCE IS GROWING BIGGER AS THOSE SUPPORTERS FOLLOW HIM LIKE ZOMBIES,
    HE OBAMA AND HIS MEDIA SUBLIMINAL SPEECH GOT THEM STUNT,
    HOW MUCH MORE EVIL DO YOU WANT TO SEE. OBAMA USE HIS PROPAGANDA ON THE YOUNG VULNERABLE AND DEPENDENT ON THEIR PARENTS, ON THEIR SCHOOLS RUN BY UNIONS WHO
    HELP TO PROPAGANDIZE THE YOUNG STUDENTS, AND ALSO THE POOR PEOPLE WHERE TOLD OF OBAMA KINDNESS BUT FAIL TO SAY BE TOLD THEIR CHECK CAME FROM THE WORKERS THE BUSYNESS AND THE COMPANYS OTHER AMERICANS, THE ILLEGALS WHERE LET IN AT THE PRICE OF
    THE LAW OFFICERS WHERE SOME LOST THEIR LIVES,
    DO YOU WANT 4 MORE YEARS OF WORSE THAN THAT, WITH HIS ARROGANCE WILL BE NO LIMIT,

    ReplyReply
  8. Cary says: 8

    Thanks for posting the pics of David’s memorial, Word. Beautiful and very moving.

    ReplyReply
  9. another vet says: 9

    @Cary: Is that one memorial near that was near the WTC still there? The name escapes me. It had personal messages, pictures, and signs most of which were from the victims’ families. It was very moving.

    I was in Staten Island right after the flight ban was lifted. On the street that leads to Ft. Wadsworth where I was staying, there was an Irish bar that had pictures of one of their patrons who was a firefighter who was killed when the buildings collapsed.

    ReplyReply
  10. Cary says: 10

    @another vet:

    I think you mean the fence around the church? I believe that was taken down. With the Freedom Tower going up, they have victims’ names in the permanent memorial there. Very nicely done.

    I live in upper Manhattan now, and haven’t been downtown in some time. Though I did honor those who lost their lives that day, and who sacrificed so much in the aftermath, at the 9/11 Heroes Run for the Travis Minion Foundation this past Sunday. Great 5k race on a beautiful day. Finished 1st in my age division. I encourage anyone who can to participate next year in their area.

    http://911heroesrun.com/

    http://www.travismanion.com/911-heroes-run-2023.html

    ReplyReply
  11. Cary
    hi, congratulation on your win that tell us that you’re in good shape for that 5 k is an accomplishment, and the cause is so great,
    nice of you to visit
    bye

    ReplyReply
  12. another vet says: 12

    @Cary: That was the one.

    Congrats on your finishing first. You picked an excellent cause to run for and your first place finish shows you put your heart into it.

    ReplyReply
  13. Common Sense says: 13

    I remember when the News showed MULIMS danceing in the streets in joy over American blood. This still makes me livid. There is NO denying it was MUSLIM terrorists whoattaced America on 9/11 and MUSLIMS who danced on our blood. This is a reality which can NOT denyed!!

    ReplyReply
  14. Common Sense
    yes I HEARD THAT AND ANOTHER MAN SAYING HE WAS TRAVELING WITH A CO WORKER AFTER COMING OUT OF HIS PLANE TRIP FROM ABROAD A FEW DAYS AFTER THE 9/11, HE HAD RENT A CAR AND INVITE THE OTHER SO TO HELP HIM GET HOME FASTER, BECAUSE HE COULD NOT FIND A CAR,
    SO THEY TRAVEL AND THE OTHER CAME OUT TALKING OF 9/ 11, AS IT WAS THE FAULT OF AMERICANS AND SO ON AND THE ONE DRIVING WAS SILENT TO A POINT WHERE HE STOP ANYWHERE AND TOLD HIM TO LEAVE HIS CAR AND FIND HIS OWN TRANSPORTATION, HE SAID I WANTED TO KILL HIM,
    AND HAD TO LET HIM GO BECAUSE HE COULD NOT TAKE MORE, THEY WHERE ENGENEERS WORKING SIDE BY SIDE, HE HATED HIMSELF FOR NOT HAVING KILLED HIM.

    ReplyReply
  15. another vet says: 15

    @Common Sense: Unfortunately they weren’t the only ones dancing. I kind of recall some cheering or the like at a soccer game in Mexico that President Fox had to apologize for. I’m not sticking up for the Muslims, but I believe there are non-Muslims out there who believed we got what we deserved on 9/11. Didn’t Oliver Stone make some comments along those lines? Perhaps I’m being over cynical, but the only time a lot of foreigners care about this country is when they get our money or military support. Europe had a big problem with us liberating the Iraqis from Saddam Hussein but they sure didn’t have a problem when we liberated Europe from the Nazis.

    ReplyReply
  16. Dc says: 16

    Ah, vet…but yes we did. There were many nazi sympathizing split local govs that had to be dealt with after the war……France, Viche gov. Degaulle was actually in exile at the time in UK. Oh, and btw..France never attacked us either.

    ReplyReply
  17. Dc
    hi,
    I WAS wondering what happen to that same previous comment before who land on my own site but not on FLOPPING ACES
    BYE

    ReplyReply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>