From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
September 11, 2017
- On each anniversary of September 11, 2011, but not only on each anniversary, I remember the events of that day and how they’ve changed our world.
On Sept. 11, 2001, we were a week or so into the new school year at Grand Avenue Middle School in Bellmore, Long Island. Except for our class computers suddenly losing internet access early that morning, it began as an ordinary Tuesday.
Merrick, New York, USA. Sept. 11, 2012. LYLA WILLIAMS, 3, and KATE OLLENDIKE, 2, help place 500 Luminary Bags in front of 215 Wenshaw Park homes, on 11th Anniversary of 9/11, by Wenshaw Park Civic Association (WPCA), Long Island, with over $500 already raised for Twin Towers Orphan Fund. (© 2012 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)
Then, as students passed from one class to another, a few of my writing students came in announcing news they’d heard on the radio in art class: “Two planes crashed into the Twin Towers!”
“What?… Well, one plane might have that sort of accident, but not two …. the same day,” I said. “Someone must’ve heard the info wrong.
But, a bit later that morning over the loudspeaker, our principal, Fino Celano, gave us the news – calmly, solemnly – of the terrorist attacks on Manhattan’s Twin Towers, the Pentagon… then the plane crash in the Pennsylvania field. No one had heard the info wrong.
East Meadow, NY, USA. March 31, 2012. At fundraiser for firefighter Ray Pfeifer – battling cancer after months of recovery efforts at Ground Zero following 9/11 2001 Twin Towers attack – are, L-R, in front row: son TERRENCE PFEIFER, daughter TAYLOR PFEIFER, wife CARYN PFEIFER, and, in back row: RAY PFEIFER, and Congressman PETE KING, at East Meadow Firefighters Benevolent Hall. (© 2012 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)
Freeport, New York, USA. Sept. 10, 2014. Bugler plays taps at night on board boat Miss Freeport V, sailing from Woodcleft Canal of Freeport Nautical Mile after a dockside Remembrance Ceremony in honor of victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001. (© 2014. Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)
Freeport, New York, USA. September 10, 2014. Town of Hempstead Councilwoman DOROTHY GOOSBY speaks at a dockside Remembrance Ceremony in honor of victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001, at the boat Miss Freeport V, on Freeport’s Nautical Mile. (© 2014 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)
Merrick, New York, USA. Sept. 11, 2011. Removing American Flag to reveal monument made with steel from World Trade Center, at Merrick Post #1282 American Legion 10th Anniversary of 9/11 ceremony, are (L-R) Rabbi PAUL KIRCHNER; Father ERIC FASANO; Adjutant ROBERT TOM RIORDAN, PCC; and North Merrick Fire Dept. Ex. Chief HENRY HINRICHS at Merrick Veterans Memorial Park. (© 2011 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)
Bellmore, New York, USA. Sept. 10, 2011. North Bellmore Fire Department 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony and unveiling of two pieces of steel from World Trade Center added to existing 9/11 monument, 1500 Newbridge Road. (© 2011 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)
Merrick, New York, USA. September 11, 2015. RILEY E. GIES, one-year-old granddaughter of Fire Chief Ronnie E Gies who died responding to 9/11 NYC Terrorist Attack, is held by CRAIG MALTZ, a Bellmore volunteer firefighter, after Merrick Memorial Ceremony for Merrick volunteer firefighters and residents who died due to 9/11 terrorist attack at NYC Twin Towers. Ex-Chief Ronnie E. Gies of Merrick F.D. and FDNY Squad 288, and Ex-Captain Brian E. Sweeney, of Merrick F.D. and FDNY Rescue 1, died responding to the attacks. (© 2015 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)
Bellmore, New York, USA. September 11, 2015. L-R, Bellmore Fire Dept. Chief DANIEL HOLL, Pastor and Chaplain JAMES BARNUM, 1st Deputy VINCENT MONTERA, 2nd Deputy TOM STOERGEN, and Chaplain DENNIS RICH stand next to monument that’s a piece of structural steel from the Twin Towers, during Bellmore Memorial Ceremony for 3 Bellmore volunteer firefighters and 7 residents who died due to 9/11 NYC terrorist attacks. Elevated platform of Bellmore LIRR Station is in background. (© 2015 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)
Merrick, New York, USA. Sept. 11, 2011. Merrick Auxiliary Unit of Merrick Post 1282 of American Legion, (L-R) MARGARET BEIGELMAN, DEBRA BERNHARD, CLAUDIA BORECKY, FLORENCE HOFFMAN, DELORES PARSONS, BRIDEE TONN, LUCY MURPHY, DIANNE CANCRO, PAT TROPEA, SHARON WILLIAMS, BETTY TUCKER, BARBARA BYRNE, and FAY AMBROSINO, at 9/11 event dedicating monument with steel from site of World Trade Center, at Merrick Veterans Memorial Park. ( © 2011 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)
Manhattan, NY, USA. January 9, 2012. Movie poster EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE hangs illuminated at night over Penn Station subway entrance with Empire State Building in background. Fictional movie is set at time of 9/11 terrorist attacks on Twin Towers in NYC. Lit globe on post is at stairwell entrance to MTA 34 St. Penn Station subway station. (© 2012 Ann E Parry/Ann-Parry.com)
Manhattan, NY, USA. March 17, 2009. FDNY firefighter LUKE ALLEN wearing, tucked under his hat band, a card with the photo of his older brother firefighter RICHARD D. ALLEN, one of 343 FDNY firefighters killed responding to terrorist attacks on Twin Towers September 11, 2001, 9/11. (© 2009 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)
- I captured the next two at Eisenhower Park last night:
East Meadow, New York, USA. September 10, 2017. Cross shaped iron remnant from actual Twin Towers is part of Eisenhower Park September 11, 2001 Memorial on west side of pond. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)
East Meadow, New York, USA. September 10, 2017. Four birds fly over the Twin Towers sculpture of Nassau County Eisenhower Park September 11, 2001 Memorial Twin Towers at west side of pond. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)
Merrick, New York. USA. Sept. 11, 2012. KATE OLLENDIKE, 2, and LYLA WILLIAMS, 3, both from Merrick, help distribute 500 Luminary Bags among 215 Wenshaw Park homes on 11th Anniversary of 9/11, by Wenshaw Park Civic Assoc., to raise funds for Twin Towers Orphan Fund. (© 2012 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)
When I got home from school that afternoon, the tile floors our construction workers had ripped up from the kitchen and surrounding rooms the day before were more scattered than stacked. We were replacing our radiant in-floor heating system, and the ground floor looked “like a bomb went off” – though I felt guilty even having that thought.
So the night of September 11, 2001, my husband Len, my older daughter Sue, and I ate dinner at a local restaurant. Throughout the meal we watched the news coverage of the attacks on the TV up in the corner, and whispered “Nightmare… surreal… oh my god….”
My younger daughter Laurie was at college in Westchester. During one of our calls later that week, I told her I wanted to get her a cell phone, especially because of her trips between college and home. Though she didn’t think she needed one, by the end of the call she understood that her mom really needed her to have one.
Our neighbors across the street lost their son who worked in the Twin Towers.
A Grand Ave. coworker lost her first responder firefighter husband, and two of our students lost their fathers.
During lunch period, a fellow teacher told how, ever since 9/11 he was having nightmares about being trapped underground.
American flags multiplied everywhere, and so did patience and kindness. I didn’t notice a car horn honking for at least a year.
And we had terrorist alerts of various colors….
And we have alerts for specific buildings, events, cities. And sometimes it feels a tiny bit reckless or brave to go to Manhattan.
- “It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” – Chinese Proverb
Merrick, NY, USA. Sept. 11, 2012. This is an inside view of one of 500 Luminary Bags distributed among Wenshaw Park home, by Wenshaw Park Civic Assoc., to raise funds for Twin Towers Orphan Fund. The tea candle in each bag will self-extinguish overnight, and volunteers will collect the bags on 9/12. (© 2012 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)
I can’t imagine what it was like for those killed, injured, struck with cancer, or who lost loved ones due to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
And with gratitude to the first responders and other 9/11 heroes, and with hope, I will never forget. – Ann
9/11 related photos