Never Forget 9/11? We Couldn’t, Even If We Tried…

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Image: Rob Tanico

Image: Rob Tanico

Karen-Carson Karen Carson
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I can’t do my radio show without tearing up today. While on the air this morning I’ve got the news on here in the studio and in between songs I see the faces of those that lost so much 12 years ago today as they read the names at the 9/11 memorial. Maybe you’re having the same kind of day.

Today is a difficult day for all of us, It’s still SO HARD to believe what happened that day 12 years ago. But look into the eyes of surviving family and friends of those that perished and you realize THAT’S their reality and has been… Every. Single. Day. For 12 years.

God bless them and God bless America. I’m not fond of the phrase “Never Forget 9/11” As if we could? Or would?

New York is quiet this morning, people walk with their heads bowed, they are just a little nicer and just a little more thoughtful.

I’m sure you thought about where you were 12 years ago today and how you felt.

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My story is not important. But everyone has one and it’s a day permanently ingrained in my memory. I wasn’t in the city that morning. I finished an air shift at midnight the night before and was just waking up in my house in Upper Montclair, NJ – a town that lost 40 residents in the attack. I was lucky, I didn’t lose a family member or even a friend. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t in pain too.

I won’t bore you with my story of where I was when it happened but I think you might be interested in how this New Yorker felt the days after. Yeah that’s right, I’m calling myself a New Yorker because I may not live here but I spend close to every waking hour of my day working in this city that I love. The following days were a nightmare and a fog. I remember wanting to hear from ONLY Mayor Guiliani on the situation. I felt HE knew our city and what to do better than our own President.

Guiliani was calm and just as distraught as all of us but DETERMINED to make us go on. God, I can’t believe how much I relied on that man to gain a sense of sanity in the months that followed. There was nothing anyone could do to help. Not donating blood, not helping at a hospital. Not even helping to clean ground zero debris as that was quickly relegated to only certain emergency service workers. The only thing we could do was stand in line and buy Flags. Lots of them. Flag stickers, real flags, ANY flag to show we stood in solidarity.

A few days after 9/11 we took a vacation up to Maine. Driving north on 95 I saw a station wagon with the American Flag attached to the roof riding alongside us and when I looked into the eyes of the driver and we solemnly nodded at each other, it finally dawned on me. I was in so much pain from what happened to OUR CITY that I forgot it was the country’s nightmare too.

I remember getting mad at seeing my cousins’ pictures of the remains of the towers proudly displayed on Facebook. My cousin had traveled from Florida to take pictures of what was left. “WHO DOES THAT?!?,” I thought. How disrespectful. Never for a minute realizing how historic this event was going to be. I didn’t care. I didn’t want to go see that graveyard of destruction and pain.

I was on Rector Street a few weeks after the attack and a tourist stopped me to ask directions to the World Trade Center. I knew what she was there for; to take pictures of the place where people hadn’t even been RECOVERED YET. I could see a gleam and excitement in her eye that she was so close to Ground Zero. It made me sick. I was so upset, I barked at her “THERE IS NO WORLD TRADE CENTER!”

I gave her a disgusted look and walked away. I was so OFFENDED. I still kind of am. That was and is a sacred graveyard. Not a damn tourist attraction. It would take years before that would be acceptable.

Well today it is. It’s an absolutely beautiful memorial and if the families of the victims are happy with it; then so am I. We have a beautiful new building called the Freedom Tower that shows will we go on and there is hope for the future.

And while it is difficult to watch year after year, I vow to always watch the reading of the names of our fallen by their family members. THAT is what shows this isn’t just a page in our nation’s history books…

…But a REAL event that happened and will ALWAYS be remembered.

P.S. 

I wanted to share this cool rendering of the twin towers done by my friend Rob Tanico, a singer songwriter and producer From Long Branch, New Jersey. I used to know Rob back when he was in the band Mr. Reality. The band would often play the club I was a DJ at and I became a big fan. I knew Rob was talented but never knew he was an artist too!

–Karen Carson, Fresh 102.7


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