This evening, I stumbled across a review of the Internet circa 1996. It’s quite hilarious, as is the author’s blog; however, after seeing the aforementioned blog, I can’t help being reminded of the phrase, "Those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones."
The article reminded me once again of the Wayback Machine, an archive of old web pages that makes Google look boring. I thought about looking back to some of my old web sites, including Marzie’s Toolbox, a web site which at one point sported a rather popular web-based POP3 and FTP client.
Poking around, I read the Sept 25 2001 entry, and was reminded of what I had written on this web site just after Sept 11, 2001.
I would like to extend my condolences to the casualties of the World Trade Center and Pentagon terrorist attacks, and extend thanks to the many heroic and dedicated men and women who comprise the emergency crews and fellow citizens who have pulled together in this time of crisis.
Working just twelve city blocks from the World Trade Center, passing through it every day on my way to work, and having friends and family who work in and around the area, this tragedy was felt in many ways. I’ll never forget the scene of the WTC, which is in plain view from the street outside my building; I’ll never forget the sight of the second plane crashing into the building, which I was eyewitness to while talking on the cell phone with a friend who works on the 103rd floor of the WTC – a gentleman who was lucky enough to wake up late and didn’t get into the office yet (he’s lucky to be alive and home this evening). Sadly, many thousands of others will not be so lucky.
Walking through the dust-strewn streets of downtown Manhattan, the scene was surreal. Normally noisy and bustling with traffic, the streets were crowded with melancholy pedestrians, and the only traffic was from emergency vehicles. One man was offering $500 for any passing car to drive him to Boston. Two women came out with gallons of water in a shopping cart, which they offered free to passers-by. When I asked her why she’s doing this, she responded, "It’s the only thing I could think of to do to help."
Personally, I’m glad I donated blood (for the first time) on Monday morning; if they’d let me donate again today, I would. I’ve been calling the local police precinct for hours to see if they need volunteers; I can’t even get someone there to answer the phone.
If you live in the New York area, please visit your local hospital to donate blood – it is sorely needed. If you’re a medical or emergency specialist, you can donate your time, which is desperately needed to relieve the thousands of exhausted emergency personnel already on site.
In reflection of all this, there are three things I’m glad for: I’m glad I’m alive, I’m glad I contributed what I could, and I’m glad to be an American. My flag flaps proudly in the wind outside my front door this evening, and it will never come down. If they march down the streets to burn it, they’ll have to burn me with it."
I forgot about that guy and his $500 offer; I did not forget about the ladies offering water to passers-by. One thing I remember today (and didn’t mention in the above text) is the following.
While walking across town, trying to get to the east side of Manhattan — my plan was to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and as far south as I could, eventually hooking up with my brother, who worked in Brooklyn and would hopefully be able to drive me the rest of the way home — I finally got through to my mother on my cell phone. (My mom was the first person to call me that morning, telling me that the World Trade Center was on fire.)
My mom and I had a brief conversation, and as we were talking, I was looking around at people who were trying desperately to get in touch with their loved ones. I yelled out, "Does anyone need to get a message to someone?" A few people walked over to me. They gave messages and phone numbers to my mother, who made some calls after we hung up to pass the messages along.
In light of everything that was going on that day, it was the least I could do.