|The Saguaro cactus doesn't get it's first arm|
until it is at least 50 years old!
The night before I had just had my weekly phone conversation with my mother and, as usual, we had been talking about the weather and how lovely New England can be in early September. So when I heard that a plane had crashed into the twin towers in New York City, I said to myself, "How can that be? The weather is supposed to be clear today." I went in and turned on the TV, just in time to see the second passenger plane hit the skyscraper.
Everyone who was alert that day probably remembers where they were when they heard the news about what happened on September 11, 2001. I listened to the radio as I drove into work, astounded and disbelieving what I was hearing. Since our company used televisions to prepare the student programs, it was not surprising to arrive and find all the TVs tuned in to various channels for news updates. But what was a surprise is that our vice president was in NYC and had planned to make a pitch to an investment group at the World Trade Center. As there was no cell phone contact by the time we heard about it, we had no idea if he had been in either of the towers at the time of the disasters.
No work got done that day as we all watched events unfolding, and worrying about our VP. Just as the collapse began, our phone rang and it was the VP's wife calling us to let us know that he was fine. He had not gone to the WTC as planned because the fellow he was supposed to meet had called in sick that day with a bad cold and they had rescheduled for the next day. Of course, there never was a "next day," and eventually our VP was able to get back to Arizona, but it took him three weeks and several bus and train connections to do it.
I did not know that I would end up in Colombia almost a decade later, nor did I know that another issue of undocumented aliens would result in over 27 Colombians being added to the list of those who were killed that day because they were working in the restaurants in the towers. Affecting people who were of different nationalities, cultures, religions and persuasions, this horrible event should become a way to remember that we all bleed the color red, and to become a united world in remembering this day.
I have just reading "City of Dust: Illness, Arrogance and 9/11" by Anthony DePalma, a former NY Times reporter, who has done extensive research on the consequential health issues post-9/11. Apparently huge numbers of people who were working in rescue and recovery for weeks after the destruction were not wearing any kind of protective masks to prevent breathing in all the toxic dust. Some of that was due to not having the equipment, some of it was because of the heat and difficulty in communicating with a mask on, and some people were those who were caught unprepared in the first dust storm of pulverized materials with no way to protect their airways. What is clear from this book is that there were people who died on September 11, 2001, murdered in those terrorist events. But there are also people who have died, and those who are still dying, because of failures of the governmental agencies - local and national - to either properly assess or report on dangers of the environment, failures of employers to protect their workers from toxic exposures, failures of the medical community to properly identify symptoms and certainly failures of various investigative committees to pursue logical routes because of political agendas in place.
My purpose in posting about this book is two-fold: even a decade after the horrors of that day, there are emerging health issues related to the event which people should be aware of and not discount, and secondly, one of the emerging health issues is Multiple Myeloma. This from the book: "Mount Sinai reported in 2009 that it had found a higher than expected number of cases of multiple myeloma in responders who were younger than 45."
DePalma, Anthony (2010-07-21). City of Dust: Illness, Arrogance, and 9/11 (FT Press Science) (p. 223). FT Press. Kindle Edition.
|Collaborative effort by two Colombian artists to create|
their version of a remembrance of 9/11.
Remembering this day ten years ago, my condolences go out to all who have lost someone they cared about as a consequence of 9/11 and I send blessings around the planet to heal what can be healed.