This past Sunday was the 15th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States. It seems impossible that it was that long ago, and for many, including myself, the emotions of that day are too easily brought forward again. I was talking to my freshman drawing class about 9/11 this week – most of them were toddlers when the twin towers fell – and telling them about my experiences being in New York City that day. It surprised me how quickly my eyes filled with tears, even fifteen years later, as I talked about the confusion on the streets after the planes hit the World Trade Center. I told them how I walked downtown as the events unfolded, drawing and crying as I walked, and about how quiet the streets became after the towers collapsed, one after the other. I talked about the survivors emerging from the dust and soot as they walked uptown, the doctors and nurses waiting in front of hospitals for the wounded that never came, and about how our cell phones died, creating long lines at pay phones where people waited to call loved ones at home. As I talked, I could still, 15 years later, scarcely believe what had happened.
The drawing above is one that I made in the days and weeks after 9/11. It shows workers being lowered into the wreckage of the former World Trade Center, to recover the bodies of the fallen, and begin the long process of clearing out the rubble. So many men and women put their own health at risk to do this work, and so many men and women are sick today because of that. We mourn and honor those who lost their lives that day, and we also we need to honor and help those who ventured into the toxic fumes day after day in search of their fallen friends and family. (Read HERE about the James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act.)
I want to send out my thoughts and prayers to everyone who was directly affected by the attacks on our country on 9.11.2001. I know they all stopped whatever they were doing on Sunday morning to remember that beautiful blue sky Tuesday when their worlds changed, as I did too.
posted by Veronica
I have published a book of my drawings and memories from that day, which you can find HERE if you are interested. A portion of the sales go to the favorite charity of Carl Bedigian, one of many firefighters who sacrificed everything on 9/11 to save others.