Remembering 9/11: When Americans Lost Control

Friday, September 09, 2011 - 07:07 PM

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, there were many human casualties. But for some, like John Hockenberry, one of the most significant casualties in his own life was a feeling of control. Ten years later, Hockenberry reflects on the attacks, and what they have wrought for New Yorkers, and indeed all Americans, in anticipation of the tenth anniversary of September 11th.

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Comments [2]

aw hess from Suffolk County,NY

On 9/11 I was listening to WNYC; I had no television. As the morning events took place my daughter was heading downtown from Bklyn with my granddaughters,age 3 and 3months to the Federal Bldg. I knew the area where she would come out from the subway. Daycare was evacuating to the Courthouse as she approached the building. Before the phones went out she managed to call her husband. He called me. Then, after nursing a coworker's infant, she,the children, and a daycare worker started the long walk to midtown. Stopping for a rest,a cab pulled up, discharged its passenger,and took them to their destination. Later that night my granddaughters and their mom returned to Brooklyn on the subway,joined their husband and father, packed and drove to the Catskills.
I asked WNYC for a copy of that day's program; it was wonderful and better than any television program could be. I'd still like a copy. The music was perfect for the unfolding news. It helped me get through that awful day.

Sep. 10 2011 03:10 AM
Richard Katz from Brooklyn, NY

On 9/11/01 my 7 year old son Aaron saw the first plane hit the WTC from the window of his 2nd grade classroom on the fourth floor of PS 29 in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. My wife, Aaron's mom, was in Italy on business. I was at home, two blocks away when I received a phone call from a friend who told me the WTC had been hit by two planes. Out my windows facing lower Manhattan I saw the Towers on fire, unreal against the clear blue sky. I ran to my son's school and raced up the stairs to find Aaron in a circle on the floor with his classmates. I asked if he wanted to go home and Aaron said "no." He wanted to stay at school with his teacher and classmates.

As I left the school building I heard the first tower collapse, thinking it was a truck going over a construction plank--the Water Main project on Clinton Street was then in progress.

At home I looked out my windows and watched the cloud of debris that was heading toward Brooklyn and turned on the radio.

On the radio I heard Mayor Giuliani advise parents not to pick up their children early at school but to meet them at the usual dismissal time.

At 3 o'clock with wet paper towel over my face and one in my hand for Aaron I headed toward the school. There was Aaron, one of only 2 children still left at the school. Heeding Mayor Giuliani's advice not to pick up my child early at school is a mistake for which I will never forgive myself.

Up to that day my son Aaron was a happy, smiling, engaging boy. After that day he didn't smile again for seven years and has PTSD to this day, despite years of therapy.

Sep. 09 2011 11:44 PM

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