September 11 Memorial 10 years Later

Well, we should never forget 9-11 it is still one day in all my life I wish I could erase ever happened.

The 2 days before 9-11 my company had lost a ton of money in our mortgage portfolio. I spent 9-11 eve locking all the loans we had to stop further losses and that sent me home that night with a large bottle of Vodka to make all the pain numb. The next morning about 5 hours later, I woke early in a hell of a bloody hangover to call the wholesale bank to ensure they’d gotten our paperwork. The processor told me that America was under attack by terrorists and Wall Street had been blown up. I thought he was joking. He said “You need to get up right now and go turn on your TV. We are shut down today.”

In a horrible hangover haze I couldn’t find my glasses and parked myself directly in front of my giant TV. CNN came on and there was the first Tower ablaze. Confusion, chaos and initially it looked like an accident, someone had flown into the building…my inebriated leftover state didn’t help me much as I thought this is nightmare I’m having.

Then as I sat watching live, pressed up against my giant screen, a 2nd plane appears and the announcer (as I remember) notices it and starts talking about it. The plane strikes the 2nd building like something out of a horror movie you can never imagine. At this point, you realize, this is not an accident and the chaotic reports indicate we are under attack from an unknown enemy. I grew up with the fear of Russia and nuclear weapons, one starts to think of other major cities under attack and the potential scale of a possible war on us. Is my city also under siege

Being hungover didn’t help, at one point I went back up to my bed to see it just wasnt real and I’ll wake up. I called a friend who I told to turn on his TV. All of the nightmares of the other planes and reports unfolded to a point no one really knew what was going on.

There were phone calls coming in from people above the flames in the buildings and people who had talked to them, logically you look at the buildings and think of how anyone can survive above the fire. Maybe the roof. Who knows. The fires are immense. At that point I think they were saying there maybe up to 10,000 people or more in the building. You think of the logistics of getting out. Reports start coming in of people jumping out of the buildings. You hope that somewhere theirs a stairwell through the fire.

Then as I sat there watching, the first building implodes into dust. Its was the most horrific thing that made your brain scream and it was like someone punched you in the gut. It was unbelievable. It couldn’t happen. Nothing could prepare you for it except maybe a kick in the head and the gut at the same time. The building is gone. You blink, rub your eyes, its gone. The people inside, the crews on the ground. It was a shock that left one reeling. This had to be a nightmare I kept telling myself, this cannot be real.

Then the seconds start to go by as you realize that if the first one can go down so can the other. All you can do is hope against gripping fear that people can get out in time. Its like a horror movie where you’re screaming at the screen telling people to run away. Suddenly you’re punched in the head and gut as the 2nd one goes down. You reel around again and again. When you’re trying to imagine with empathy what the people inside must be going through trying to get out of the buildings its horrifying to see that result. The buildings don’t fall over, they turn to dust and implode. It was unbelievable. You think of the Firemen and police charging into the buildings that are now gone. The crews outside the building, gone.

Later or during the TV cast I’d seen were they were interviewing Rudy Giuliani and they turn to look and people are flailing out of the buildings and down to the ground behind him. Its surreal horror as you imagine the decisions that you would have to make that the situation you’re in inside the building being cooked in super heat and smoke is worse than the risk of jumping out of a 100+ story building. At some point you might think you have a better chance, maybe they have nets to catch you. I can’t even imagine the horror.

Guiliani talked about how the building had come down as they were driving off and barely escaping, he had to assume the worst for the first responders who’d he’d just spoken with and shaken hands with friends.

I’m a very logical person, but 9-11 forever scarred me and I can’t see those images without being incredibly angry and upset. I’m having a hard time from this morning. My story is not anything near as horrible as others, but sharing helped me process it better today.

Nothing can make me come close to imagining what the people or victims who where directly impacted could feel or imagine. They still live with it for some, everyday. The families who lost a parent. I can’t fathom their losses. They are all heroes and I hope they will always be blessed and remembered.

We all feel pain from 9-11, it ended an era of certain degree of feeling safe in America and an age of innocence.

A salute to all the heroes involved with 9-11 and our armed forces.

Thank you and Be Blessed.

Chris Voss