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The Sounds of 9/11

Peggy Noonan has a must read article about 9/11. We're all familiar with the images of the planes smashing into the buildings or of people, choosing to take control over their own deaths, jumping out of the towers. In her piece she remembers the sounds of 9/11, including the last expressions of love from those who knew they were going to die.

Here's a portion:

No one said anything unneeded, extraneous or small. Crisis is a great editor. When you read the transcripts that have been released over the years it's all so clear.


Flight 93 flight attendant Ceecee Lyles, 33 years old, in an answering-machine message to her husband: "Please tell my children that I love them very much. I'm sorry, baby. I wish I could see your face again."

Thirty-one-year-old Melissa Harrington, a California-based trade consultant at a meeting in the towers, called her father to say she loved him. Minutes later she left a message on the answering machine as her new husband slept in their San Francisco home. "Sean, it's me, she said. "I just wanted to let you know I love you."

Capt. Walter Hynes of the New York Fire Department's Ladder 13 dialed home that morning as his rig left the firehouse at 85th Street and Lexington Avenue. He was on his way downtown, he said in his message, and things were bad. "I don't know if we'll make it out. I want to tell you that I love you and I love the kids."

Firemen don't become firemen because they're pessimists. Imagine being a guy who feels in his gut he's going to his death, and he calls on the way to say goodbye and make things clear. His widow later told the Associated Press she'd played his message hundreds of times and made copies for their kids. "He was thinking about us in those final moments."

Elizabeth Rivas saw it that way too. When her husband left for the World Trade Center that morning, she went to a laundromat, where she heard the news. She couldn't reach him by cell and rushed home. He'd called at 9:02 and reached her daughter. The child reported, "He say, mommy, he say he love you no matter what happens, he loves you." He never called again. Mrs. Rivas later said, "He tried to call me. He called me."

Read all of it. It helps keep everything in perspective.


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Comments (2)

Peggy created auditory rela... (Below threshold)

Peggy created auditory relativeness with that horrible day and this article came about as a result of her auditory observation, teaching her how she can communicate her views online.

The amazing thing about Cap... (Below threshold)
Tim:

The amazing thing about Capt Hynes' call is not that he was in the WTC, but on the way there. It looked bad, and he wasn't sure they would make it. But they were going in anyway. 5 years on, and a simple reminder of that fact still brings tears to my eyes. People run from burning buildings. Firemen run into them. God Bless the people who are willing to give the last full measure for their fellow man.




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