I realized on this walk, the demons that are within us from that day will never die. They may stay dormant in a deep slumber...but I felt them awake as I walked through this valley of death.
Just like last year, I felt the same strong emotions of anger, frustration, confusion and grief. It was emotionally draining and reliving all the good times I had there, and seeing what is left without the progress I wish they would make rebuilding it, left me physically and spiritually drained when I went home that day.
The leading up to 9/11 has changed a bit from last year, and it seems that New York City has made the memorials to be held more exclusively on 9/11 rather than having other memorials days before. Last year they had the Flags of Heroes flying in Battery Park, along with an elaborate Firefighter tribute set up around the sphere.
This year, when I arrived to Battery Park, there were no flags flying, there was a Dutch festival going on across the street complete with windmill and wooden shoes galore, and a buzz of activity that I haven't seen or felt at this time of year in a very long time. I will post in the future of the Dutch festival, but this post will focus on just the walk I took and the pictures of what I looked at that day so you can get a sense of what progress or lack of is getting done. There are many photos so I will not do much commenting. It will take you a while to go through this post, maybe a couple of trips back.
I may write afterward, but so many thoughts running through my mind and its an upsetting feeling viewing all these pics...so for now I begin with a short video I found that someone made of Battery Park from when they did have the Flags of heroes waving and a more elaborate tribute set up for all the first responders. However for the most part, I'm going to keep with the silent theme.
Click on any picture to read the writing and see it better, If anyone wants the original file just email me, and consider it done.
This was the flag on the city bus window I took into the city.
The sphere with the eternal flame burning for all those innocent lives.
As I walked my old route towards where they are building The Freedom Tower, I noticed new items that are beginning to pop up all over the city like these art sculptures which look like twisted parking meters.
Also, new flower pots bringing color to my walk.
There were many servicemen walking around because a ship was in.
As I walked the route toward where my building used to be, I saw the first signs of a tribute.
I stepped out into the middle of the street hoping to see something...anything rising up into the sky....but I was looking into the same abyss that I saw last year. Nothing in place of what was evaporated by murderers.
I stepped back on the sidewalk and saw that the Firehouse that is directly across from The World Trade Center Complex has a wall memorial that is very impressive.
They are still doing work on the buildings which is why scaffolding is everywhere.
May we never forget ...indeed.
Dedicated To Those Who Fell And Those Who Carry On
The Towers afire.
These are memorials to the brave firefighters who perished from this particular firehouse which is known as Ladder 10 and Engine 10.
As you can read it say 10 House...Still Standing !!!
Firefighters preparing for memorial services.
This famous picture painted on a piece of the rubble.
Relatives were coming in and out, and there were news people interviewing anyone who walked in or out of the firehouse.
What is supposed to be...what the future of downtown Manhattan will look like....Hopefully.
The future Police Memorial.
My first glimpse of progress !! A couple of floors built !
Looks like that will be the underground parking...or who knows, but its growing up.
and taking form.
How come Yankee Stadium was built with lightning speed and this is all the progress so far ??
as a Flag still shows our spirit.
As I was walking on one of the bridges around the pit, there was a no smoking sign.....How about a no F***ING TERRORISTS sign ?!?!?
More future ideas.
This is one of the only places to get an outdoor glimpse. Gate 7.
What the future transportation hub will look like.
Now, right next to the firehouse is the new Tribute WTC museum.
The second I walked in there was a video playing on a wall showing how the Twin Towers were used in many commercial ads back in the day.
also pictures of what it was like to show up for work, and how being there felt...
Anyone who worked down there will tell you how every floor in any of the buildings all had a campus like atmosphere that made working there enjoyable.
Model of what was...
videos on the wall showing the past...
Lunchtime was great, ALWAYS something happening.
Model of the sphere.
I ate here everyday, sometimes every meal. In the morning the cooks were so fast if they saw you coming in the door by the time you got to them, they knew what you wanted, and it was bagged with everyone screaming orders... but ALL of them knew the customers names, and we were all on a first name basis. It was an incredible atmosphere.
Still busy, and will be much more again one day !
Culture was always showing up.
work pictures, that just show enthusiasm and camaraderie...
All races, creeds and colors working together peacefully in harmony.
Sometimes, weird things would occur as well.
A family beacon.
Windows on the World.
If you were going against the rush hour walking traffic whether it be in the morning or afternoon, you'd be in trouble fighting the crowds to get through !
It really was a place where smiles were NOT in short supply.
and yup, sometimes on a nice day, just go to the top to relax and enjoy the views.
and then... there was 1993..
Underground Garage where the bombs exploded.
and then...there was September 11, 2001.
and they ran...
Never ever will I remember a moment so clearly as when the second plane hit.
Recovered Airplane Window
The flyers for those who were thought to be missing...only to be lost forever.
Melted Steel with glass shrapnel
Bill's last pic...God Bless him.
Windows on the World Menu
Found utensils melted.
Zhe Zack Zeng....one of the many heroes.
and the first responders kept doing what they were trained to do...RESPOND. Truly we must never forget our heroes especially the ones who still harbor sickness from working in that contaminated environment and our government doesn't give them the medical care they need.
Moira Smith died that day...
One of the many sheroes New York City was lucky to have...this country was lucky to have.
Sunny Mindel's Shoes
A VERY happy reunion.
Ruptured Scott Bottle worn by the FDNY, NYPD and PAPD that day.
US Tax Enforcement badge. Tax Enforcement were located on the 86 and 87th floors of Tower 2...They lost 39 workers that day.
Twisted Firefighter Officers Tool
Can you guess what these are ??
Flag found in the ruins and part of a sprinkler.
Thank You New York's Finest.
Videos of ceremonies play as I walk through the museum.
More missing person flyers.
A painful sight to look at.
Later on there is a picture from the same view as this one...except there is nothing there now.
Steel Beam from WTC
Steel beam from WTC
The Sphere after the collapse.
A room that had pictures of all the people murdered that day in their normal activities. It was in this room that I came across pictures of a couple of people that I worked with many years ago, knew only their first name, and was completely shocked that they were among the people I knew who passed on. I felt a pain in my heart that I can't explain. They have tissues and benches, and someone left fruit on the bench which in some cultures is a nice gesture for those who have gone on to the next life. The King was feeling mighty sad in this room.....mighty sad.
3rd Grader Kevin Wang made this work of art...
I think most of us felt this way too...
Somewhere Today Quilt
Somewhere today our brothers and sisters are fighting a war for us here.
Somewhere today bloggers are writing about 9/11 so people will remember.
Somewhere in this room, The King found pictures that broke his heart.
Captain Patrick Brown who was in my tribute last year. Bless his soul.
Smiling. Happy. Innocent.
Taken too soon.
Raising families. Innocent.
Workers escaping after the 93 bombing.
A pain...that is too deep...is the comfort of a hug going to last ? No.....but it helps.
Hug someone today....you won't regret it.
and we pray, God do we pray.
and look for comfort...
and keep a spirit...
and remember...that we STAND together.... We are...will be...and shall overcome.
and yes...The King ... is human...and needs to exhale...as I wipe the tears from my cheeks.
The Tiles. I will be posting more pictures of the tiles in Greenwich Village during the month.
Hand painted tiles.
Not a sign you see often, especially if you are a Yankee fan.
If you are going through hell...keep going. - Winston Churchill
Sadako Sasaki - 1955
Sadako's tiny origami crane
The children are always the strongest.
Visitor postcards. You can leave messages and they may go up in the future museum. If you click on the pic I believe you can read this one.
Tissues and Blank postcards. The book has old pics of the World Trade Center to reflect.
London Memorial- it says on the header "Grief is the price we pay for love."
Signed Chief's hat for support.
Items sent from round the world for support.
This was a visitor postcard they had hanging up...from Ireland...it says..
"I saw her face in the clouds of smoke that day 23rd October 08" Sean O'Dwyer
450 million year Manhattan Schist Rock.
and of course a cheesy gift shop as you leave...
They sell a poster of this for $19.95 advertised as , own a picture of the flag that was found in the ruins.
and of course they sell those rubber bracelets...they say person to person.
This was the view I said earlier you would see nothing from...the only comfort I had taking this photo was the fact that one of my fellow yellow brothers was right in front of me....as I wondered how this void was such a part of so many lives...and why was it taken away.
So after a pretty emotional day...there is only one cure for me...off to my old stomping ground Majestic where I used to eat 3 times a week on the way home...you just can't walk by smelling that Pizza...so off I went.
Oh yeah...fresh pie with my slice warmin up...
This is just how the King ordered it 21 years ago, except I'd have two or three slices back then...only one today with my large Root Beer....and look at all those trimmings I got a choice of !
Just a little Garlic and I'm in heaven.
I was taking so many pictures of my food the girl behind the counter asked me if I wanted her to film me eating it !! I laughed and told her how I hadn't eaten here in 21 years, and that the sign below was the same one when I used to come here so often many years ago. She said "yeah, nothing changes in this place"... I ate my slice.
It was a nice way to end my day and lift my spirits a bit as I got the people from Majestic to do a video for The King !! Remember 9/11 !!
And God Bless you Michael Podilla and Majestic Pizza for cheering up my day. Here's our first take, its my first blooper !!
In closing I will leave you with this song called New York's Damn Bravest. It has become somewhat of an anthem for the Firefighters here in New York City and its a great song to boot. If you know a fireman , pass this song on to him, he'll thank you for it. My relative who gave his kidney to one of his twin son's wrote it , and sings it. I posted on them all earlier this year.
If not, reflect and remember. I hope all of you are safe and sound on this tragic day...a day NONE of us will ever forget. I know this post was long and if you made it this far I appreciate your time... and thanks for sharing part of this special day with me as I roam on these free streets of America hoping one day all our brothers and sisters can have there safe passage home from the war as I await to give them their ride home in my yellow chariot, until then I remain your friend...
-The King Of New York Hacks.
Peace out peepers, and God Bless America.
Listen to the song below, you won't regret it.