Tomorrow is the anniversary of one of the worst days in the life of Americans everywhere.
I remember the first time I went to Ground Zero. I had happily volunteered to help feed the rescue workers and was honored to be able to contribute in that small way. It was the least I could do. After all, I wasn't a member of the police, fire or rescue teams, I wasn't in construciton or clean-up. I just wanted to do something to help. I was ready, willing and able to dish out soup, deliver coffee, serve the meals, anything. I'd seen all the footage, was familiar with the sight of the rubble and the carnage. I was prepared.
Or so I thought.
Just seeing the hole in the skyline was troubling enough, but it was the smell of death that hit you when you pulled up at the site that really shakes one to the core. It was everywhere. No escaping the odor. Though you got used to it and the odor siminished, it did not go away. A newscast could not even begin to describe that aspect of the clean-up nor preapre you for it. It was disturbing after only one day there. Can you imagine being there every day?
When I got home, my husband could smell it as soon as I walked in the door. It premeated my clothes, hair and skin. It took a long shower, a lot of perfumed bath gel and a few spins through the wash cycle for my clothes to get ride of the smell. It was the smell of 9/11 and I'll never forget it.
I'm not going to get on my soap box and tell everyone to never forget. Some people will. But I won't. Never.
God Bless America.
picture 1 - ground zero
picture 2- dad and I getting ready to serve the meals
Picture 3 - dad, sis and I just before leaving - picture taken by a member of NYPD who dubbed dad "Soup Boy" and was making us laugh.