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  1. #1
    Bronze Phenster
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    I volunteered my help in the search for survivors of the attack upon the World Trade Center. I don't quite know how to describe what I saw. The carnage is horrific. The
    sites, smells and visual landscape are so awful as to put your mind into a
    state of disbelief. I personally found it difficult to comprehend the
    destruction and devastation that my eyes were conveying to my brain. It was
    as if my brain was incapable of accepting what my senses were experiencing.

    Standing upon the pile of debris that was once a proud American landmark is
    something I hope no one else will have to experience. I thought that I was
    fully prepared for being there, because I had watched so many hours of live
    television coverage of the event but I now know that one can never be
    prepared for that kind of destruction. Afterall, how can one prepare for
    the "Pile" as it has now come to be known? For the Pile is more than a
    mound of debris. It is a tomb for thousands of people and for the innocence
    of this generation of Americans.

    What bothered me most, were the simple things I witnessed. It was the
    simple reminders of everyday life interrupted that drove home just how many
    lives were affected by the viscous cowards flying those planes: restaurants
    deserted with morning breakfasts still sitting on the table from Tuesday;
    research reports from Wall Street firms scattered amongst the rubble; proofs
    from someone's recently developed photos showing a smiling couple in happier
    times lying amongst the twisted metal and the many other artifacts remaining
    as they were Tuesday morning. That is when it hit me, on some level of
    consciousness that I did not know existed, that there is nothing left of
    what was once the home of 50,000 workers. In their place is a tomb
    containing thousands of bodies and the pain and suffering of millions of
    Americans.

    Working side-by-side with other volunteers, fire fighters, police officers
    and military personnel made me proud to be an American and sad to be a New
    Yorker. We have suffered a terrible blow. But, many, many people are working
    tirelessly to find survivors among the rubble and to bring the victims home.
    So many are working to return the victims to their loved ones, that no one
    would have noticed if I was not there, as dozens of others would have gladly
    filled my shoes. I am proud of all those people. Their spirit is what will
    carry us all through this time of suffering and onto a victory over the
    zealots who inflicted this damage.

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  3. #2
    Silver Phenster
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    I am from Al. I have watched this horrible tragedy with the rest of the world. Feeling as though I am over-reacting for a person that is so far away from "ground zero", I have cried until I've no more tears. For some reason now, distance doesn't seem to matter. Though, I am well aware of the loss of life at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and all of those planes, I have glimpsed a beautiful sight. Flags waving from homes, businesses, and city power poles. To me that is a sight of hope. I mourn for the thousands that I have never met, and will never have the chance. I feel anguish for the family and friends of the victims. I feel anger at my inability to do anything. But, again there is a good feeling. When I see the TV coverage of the site in NY, I feel love, and gratitude. I feel admiration. I have so wanted to be able to address one of the rescue workers directly. Though this nation grieves for it's lost lives and lost sense of security, we at least have you to give us reason to celebrate. Your experience will no doubtedly stay with you through your life. I cannot imagine, nor do I want to, the terrible things you have had to endure. To search amongst ruins for people has to be horrible enough, not even considering the size of those towers and number of people. Yet, you were there. You were there to pray for and search for that one person clinging to life. You were there taking great care to deliver the dead to their families. You may not consider yourself to be brave, but to just walk to that site had to take tremendous courage. Believe me when I say America thanks you. I pray that you can find peace and live with the things you endured without much difficulty. I want you to know that you are thought of, appreciated and prayed for- regardless if you believe in God. YOU are a hero. I will forever remember the images that I saw on TV just like everyone else. I won't forget that after we witnessed a tragedy, we witnessed a miracle. After such a loss, we had such a gain. See, we lost lives that are precious and irreplacable. But we gained wisdom, and hope, and determination, and love of country, and pride to be from a country where very brave and unselfish men and women came quickly to help out their fellow man. I thought that part of America was gone. I am so grateful you proved me wrong. I would never willingly make this exchange, but the choice wasn't given. They are gone and we can't bring them back. But we can be aware that people do still care for one another.

    You are forever in my prayers. We, America, are indebted to you.

  4. #3
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    Apache,

    Hi. Your description of the site is familiar to me. I have not been that close, but friends & colleagues have & they all say that the TV pix do not do it justice. In what aspect did you volunteer--are you a firefighter, construction worker, medical--just curious.

    Looking back, I think this horrific tragedy brought out the best in New Yorkers--we can be a cranky bunch at the best of times, but I saw alot to be proud of as the events unfolded.

    What I am wondering is when things will feel more normal--if they ever will. I cannot get over that skyline in lower Manhattan as I come down the ramp to the Lincoln Tunnel--so sad.

  5. #4
    Silver Phenster
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    Dear Apache:
    Thank you so much for your touching report from ground 0. You are such a strong person to go there....I think I would start screaming and or crying and never stop.
    God Bless...
    Marg
    Margomack********

  6. #5
    Bronze Phenster
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    Thanks all, but I am not the one deserving of thanks and recognition as my contribution was so minimal as to be unnnoticed. There are many more who have done a greater service to this country and to this city.

    Fiddlestix, I am none of the things you referrenced. I am 28 years old and formerly worked across the street from the WTC in the World Financial Center and later in mid-town. I was an investment banker and became a director at a Wall Street institutional investment fund. I resigned my job in Spring to focus on myself for awhile and to get in shape (too many 90-100 hour weeks behind a desk had destroyed my fitness level). I went to volunteer at the Javots Center but was not needed. However, a very good friend of mine owns a construction company in CT and was taking work crews down to assist in removing the debris and in digging for survivors. I forced him to take me with him and list me as a crew member. I was in the debris field and I also did other labor, like assisting in the unloading of supplies froma FEMA barge and other labor oriented tasks as needed.

    I keep my safety gear next to the front door of my apartment and am still registered with FEMA if they need any more volunteers. So far, the professional crews seem to be abel to handle the situation but in case they need assistance in any form, I will return.

  7. #6
    Silver Phenster
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    I understand your reluctance to accept thanks and recognition. I disagree. It took all of you to make the system work. You did your part. And, I, for one, Apache, will always consider you a hero, just like the ones right up front and in the middle. Regardless of being a professional or volunteer, regardless how little each felt they contributed, I think of all of you as heros and am grateful to you.

  8. #7
    Diamond Phenster Moonwatcher's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    apache

    I enjoy reading what and how you write.
    Maybe you missed your calling.....maybe you should write professionally.

    Or do you?

    Moon

    ~PEACE~LOVE~and God Bless America

  9. #8
    Platinum Phenster FRANCIE's Avatar
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    thanks for sharing!
    HEIGHT 5'2"
    SW 176 (10/16/03)
    CW 165
    GW 110-115

  10. #9
    Bronze Phenster
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    Thank you for the compliment on my writing style. I am not a writer, nor have I ever written with the intention of sharing, yet alone publishing. True writers are capable of conveying the raw emotion and subtle contextual parameters. I am not gifted with those capacities.

    I am just an ordinary 28 year-old individual.

  11. #10
    Platinum Phenster
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    Apache,

    To you, you seem like an average 28 year old. To me, you DID deliver that heart wrenching, raw emotion in your descriptions.

    Being very serious here, you should consider writing a journal of all you have experienced (if you haven't yet) and share it with others, I know it would touch many lives.

    Rena

  12. #11
    Silver Phenster
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    Good Morning-
    Apache and miz, you both speak so eloquently of such horror. All I can saymiz and that you said everything I feel. The other day, I walked past a car with an American flag on it and just started to cry.
    Something in me is different. I wasnt' even there but my aching heart makes me wonder how much can I bare? I have flown, been to NY all since this. My life goes on as usual yet in my quiet moments I wonder..... and I pray for those left behind, those working tirelessly, those who have left behind their loved ones to go in and help with the efforts.

    I see so many signs- God Bless America.
    Well, He has, He does and He will continue to. God has given us all free will. Unfortunately, to many use that for evil. Rarely will God step in and stop the things that man has put into motion, yet at times like these, it seems we see His sovereign hand of love everywhere.

    Apache- I bless you. I couldn't do it. I know that I am not made that way. It truly takes a special breed of person to be a fire/rescue/cop in the first place and then also to do what you and thousands of others are doing. We know that it is not for recognition or accolades but the human compassion in you crying out to do all you can. I do my part in prayer and donations. I do my part in loving my family and my neighbors and strangers. I show small acts of kindness whereever and whenever I can. I want the world to see the love of Jesus at work in me and through me. And that is exactly what you are doing- showing love.

    I send my love and Blesssings in Jesus' name-
    Audrey

  13. #12
    Silver Phenster Jellibean's Avatar
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    Words can't express how I feel ...Im just touched by your thoughts and felt as if I was there with you...Thanks for sharing..

  14. #13
    Bronze Phenster
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    Thank you for all reading this thread.

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