Heat All Around

Friday, September 10, 2010

9/11 Days into Months Later

For long days after the Towers slipped into ash and rubble, the city smoldered and the Nation...no the World walked around in stunned disbelief. The enormity of what they'd watched on their television screens that replayed like a maddening loop on a treadmill none could step off from, made each of us cringe over and over and desperately want to jump away from those screens and DO SOMETHING...but what?


Rescue personnel from around the world rushed into the city preparing for survivors...survivors that never materialized...

...and as the smoke began to fade, we soon understood why. Still mankind lives, breathes and hopes. Walls of photos appeared seeking loved ones that had been in those Towers when the two planes careened into their bellies and brought them low.



Months of cleaning did find the odd bit and piece of human remains amidst the skeletons of the Tower's remains...but survivors? None. Many of the brave rescue crews that had rushed in praying to bring out the innocent, became themselves, casualties when the Towers mushroomed down upon themselves. Still we screamed out for something to do to mitigate the agony clawing at our guts...something that would remind us we were still here and still capable of breathing, living, and being human again.


Across the Country, across the world, blood drives began. Why? I couldn't help wondering why? There were no survivors. Who was going to need blood? But then I remembered to add a two word codicil to my question...Who was going to need blood...this time? No one, but such hate that would drive people to fly planes on a suicide mission like those that flew those planes that Tuesday would not stop with this attack. There would be more. IN other words, the WORLD needed blood, just in case.


Military agencies here in the United States leaped to the forefront...they who serve on the front lines, know the need of preparedness...


...Corporations world-wide opened their doors to the world wide Red Cross encouraging blood drives at all of their facilities...


...here and there, Americans stepped up to do what none of us could do for those that had perished in the Towers, in that field in Pennsylvania, at the Pentagon that Tuesday morning on September 11, 2011, give the preparedness of life saving blood...in case...


...even in makeshift cafeterias, like this one pictured above...similar to the one where my daughter Kat Holmes worked as a Corporate Auditor. Kat was twenty-five, when she climbed up on that table, let them strap her down and plunge the needle in to draw her precious life giving blood during her Company's 9/11 blood drive. We had no way of knowing...no one did until the convulsion began, with the needle still buried deeply in the crook of her elbow, and her vein, that this would be the first of her Grand Mal seizures, but it was. We didn't know as she made this gesture to help humankind be ready against future insanity, her own future was going to be irrevocably altered, but it was. We had no idea one violent seizure with the needle still in her vein would become five, ten or more a day, but it did. We had no way of knowing giving blood would permanently disable her, but it did. From the depth of her need to DO SOMETHING she gave unstintingly, and in that act, her life has been forever changed.

The passengers on that plane on 9/11 knew when they made the decision to engage the hijackers they were going to die. They chose to die DOING SOMETHING. Kat did not know when she chose to DO SOMETHING that she was permanently altering her forever...she was JUST twenty-five...yet despite the cruelty of how her life has changed she dedicates herself to helping others and giving as much as it is possible, given her limitations to give.

She did not die on that table with that needle in her arm, but her life has been permanently changed...yet two years ago she spent one whole year making two hundred designer dolls to give to elderly women in nursing homes who no longer have families at Christmas so they'd have something of their own to open Christmas morning...so I'd say she DID something. Here's a couple of those dolls. You be the judge.






I know there are many out there with similar stories. The events of 9/11 continue to have long reaching impacts upon all of us nine years later. Some more obvious than others, but all of us, I pray, DID SOMETHING no matter where in the world we were on that Tuesday, and hopefully we are STILL doing something. We can never forget we are Humanity first before all else.

5 comments:

Ginger Simpson said...

I've already told Kat she's my role model, and she didn't get it, but this definitely cements that feeling for me. Thank you for sharing on this day that conjures up horrible memories.

Kat said...

I still don't. I really haven't done anything that remarkable. I'm just me.

Glenn Kleier said...

Already a very poignant day for me, your memorial here made 9/11 all the more sobering and moving.

It's a terribly unfair irony that Kat would suffer so for her humanitarian gesture of giving blood. Truly, no good deed goes unpunished. Yet she responds to her adversity with love and kindness. Truly a remarkable lady. (And her dolls are amazing).

anny cook said...

Wonderful post. All the heroes weren't at ground zero...

Lin said...

I am so honored that Glenn, Annie and Ginger you took the time to read my 9/11 posts and comment. Both Kat and I carry deep memories from that day and the weeks and months that immediately followed. Even today, with the controversy over the proposed Community Center/Mosque in the building that once held the internet server for Kat's corporation on that fateful Tuesday seems to be a strange twist of the threads woven by The Fates. Once upon a time we as a Nation went about with our heads in the collective skies believing nothing could touch us, only to have those clouds violently blasted away from around us. I HOPE we never forget, but History does not promise that will be the case. We forgot the lessons of Pearl Harbor. For reasons beyond my understanding, man's long term memory is very diffuse.