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New York City: Two Towers Down But Still in the Game

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I admit it. I have not spent the ninth anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, tuning in to the 24/7 news cycle, which – and I know this just by mere channel surfing – seemed to feature loop after loop of the planes crashing into the buildings and the subsequent terror that surely shattered the hearts of many in Manhattan and Washington and Pennsylvania, and nay, the entire nation.

Today, I have mainly watched college football and read a book on the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth (highly recommended, by the way).

But between my various enterprises this Saturday, I have thought about that day and about what it means to me. I have thought about the many volunteers who gave of their time, and some of their very livelihood, the latter of which (some) suffer from incurable diseases, such as lung damage from those who inhaled various toxins on that day and in clean-up efforts.

I have thought of the regular folks on the street who witnessed the planes crashing into the buildings, and then found themselves encased in chaos and dust. I thought of the 9/11 Truth crowd who claim, with pomposity, that the whole thing was rigged from the start, by our own government, or at the very least, our government under George W. Bush was privy to such tidings.

And I have thought about my own excursions to New York, “the concrete jungle where dreams are made of,” as the popular Alicia Keys/Jay-Z tune goes. I live in the Southeast now but once lived in Manhattan as an infant. But since that time, I have been to the city many times. And once, I was able to go to the very top of one of the Twin Towers and looked out over the city from that phantasmal height, and I was in awe. This is an experience for which I am thankful to have been given. The view is still fertile in my mind. There, across the rail. Through the tall, shiny glass windows. Soaring and a little nearer to sky and clouds than to Earth.

And now, probably some 15 years or more since I was there, that heralded skyline is no more. I don’t need the news stations to tell me how grave and important Sept. 11, 2001, really is to all of us who love the city. I felt the thud, an intense thud, like everyone else. My “thud,” perhaps, wasn’t quite as booming as that of, say, a Mets or Yankees or Giants or Rangers fan, but it was a real thud, but not awe, as Bush later proclaimed about Iraq. For, with war, there is no “awe,” just shock and death, and “awe” is a quite macabre way to describe war.

So, tonight, now 15 minutes into Sept. 12, I am reminded of two songs, one my Ryan Adams titled, “New York, New York” (which was shot, interestingly, only four days prior to the tragedy on Sept. 7, 2001) and one more poignantly directed at the 9/11 tragedy, The Beastie Boys’ “An Open Letter to NYC.”

Here is the video:

[Photo caption: Credit: Chang W. Lee/The New York Times; Family members of 9/11 victims at the reflecting pool during the ceremony in New York.]
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About Jeremy Styron

  • John Wilson

    Steel doesn’t have to melt at 2700F since it will weaken and collapse at considerably lower temps. An engineer friend of mine designs and builds warehouses and he says your chances of escaping from a burning wooden warehouse are better (because the wood must burn mostly thru to collapse) than a steel warehouse (wherein the steel is rather quickly weakened by sub-melt temps).

  • “… such and such high temperature…”

  • Thanks for reading and commenting, Kelly.

    But I have to say, I’m highly suspicious of the 9/11 conspiracy theories because A) of proponents’ high level of certainty that something phony must have been going on and B) their lack of a motive.

    I’ve seen Loose Change, and those guys almost have some sort of religious devotion to these theories, and in my view, unless we are talking about gravity or the laws of physics, it’s dangerous to be that certain about anything, especially for a flimsy theory such as this. You do know that steel doesn’t melt away like ice immediately when it comes into contact with such and such high temperate, right? Heat is conducted through the steel, and if the conduction occurs faster than the heat is pumped into it – thus the heat gets more dispersed throughout – the steel remains more solid. It’s only when heat dispersion occurs faster than conduction can regulate it that melting occurs. If it was a controlled explosion or simply a matter of degrees, we would have witnessed the building going down in a matter of seconds. But this is not what we witnessed. It stood there and stood there, as we would have expected, until heat dispersion was too much for conductivity to regulate, and it took like an hour for the first building to fall.

    Second, the motive. The common claim is that Rumsfeld, Cheney and the gang planned the entire thing to give us an excuse to go rampaging through Iraq and Afghanistan. But what an absurd claim. You are telling me that Rumsfeld and Cheney were so determined to go into Iraq that they were willing to destroy thousands of lives in America (and however heart broken family members) and thousands more in a contrived war? I know they might not the most morally upright people, but that would make them monsters. I will concede lone monsters (Hitler) but a coalesced group of monsters working in sequence. That’s too much to believe.

    And thus, like a religion, if only I would read such and such book, then I might believe. I don’t see myself going to that much effort to attempt to understand a crackpot theory no more than I care to read all the available literature on, say, Joseph Smith and the Mormons.

  • Kelly

    Nice article. As a New Yorker, I know exactly where you are coming from.

    But I take strong objection to your description of the 9/11 Truth crowd. Let me remind you and your readers, that the laws of physics were suspended on 9/11.

    Hydrocarbon fires (such as fire based on jet fuel, or what we know as kerosene) can at most rise to 1770 F. Steel, beings to melt only at 2770 F. That is problem one. Problem two, is that both WTC1 and 2 came down in freefall acceleration. Problem three? NO ONE, not the Commission, not NIST, nor FEMA has actually explained in their reports–by their own admission–how 47 story WTC Building 7 ALSO collapsed in free fall acceleration at 5:20 that day. A building that had not been hit by a plane, and had sparse fire on a few floors…But did house the largest CIA field office, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the IRS, the Secret Service, and the Department of Defense.

    That is just the beginning on the many inconsistencies and problems with the official myth of 9/11, perpetrated by the Commission and those in FEMA, NIST and other government agencies.

    Read the 9/11 Commission report, then read John Farmer’s book “Ground Truth (a member of the 9/11 Commission), followed by Philip Shenon’s book “The Commission” (NYT reporter, not a Truther), and finally read any one of Dr. David Ray Griffith’s (a theorist) books such as “The New Pearl Harbour Revisited,” “The 9/11 Commission, Omissions and Distortions”, and I guarantee you will understand why many believe the American people have not been told the whole story.

  • Thanks for reading and for the feedback, Victor!

  • I enjoyed this articles and the videos very much. That one by Adams is just haunting!