[Groop]World Trade Center
Wed, 12 Sep 2001 21:28:10 -0700 (PDT)
First of all, I'm okay. I wasn't directly affected by
the attack, although I know many who have been. THANK
YOU everyone, I am deeply touched by the concern The
Groop is showing forme, for New York and for
Washington during this devastating time.
I am also NOT surprised by what I am reading; I've
gotten to know The Groop both individually and as a,
well, GROOP, and I frankly expected this kind of
compassion from such a wonderful, caring bunch.
I'm not kidding when I say this is the first time I've
ever cried while reading my email.
Dan, I'm glad to hear you and your loved ones are
safe. As I looked forward to finally getting home, I
did kind of expect The Groop to be posting their
condolences, and I hoped I'd hear you were okay.
Everyone else, thanks again. I'll try to keep this
brief for now, but working in the Corporate Tower of
the Macy's Herald Square Building on 34th Street & 7th
Ave., I was far enough from harm's way personally, but
close enough to view some of the tragedy from my
office window. Thankfully the Twin Towers themselves
were blocked from my immediate view, but the smoke was
everywhere. I don't know if I could have handled the
sight of the towers going down.
>From the unbelievable to the unspeakable to the
impossible; how could they just be gone!!! I look on
them every day as I wander the city and they're just
When I saw my first F-15 Fighter patrolling the skies
of Manhattan, it went beyond the impossible to the
Hollywood-ludicrous. It still doesn't seem real.
What a sight, seeing the streets of Midtown as crowded
as the height of the Holiday Season, yet everyone
headed NORTH (uptown), and almost no vehicular
traffic! I saw people walking along with no shoes, and
realized these were people who had made it from
downtown to midtown and had literally run out of their
shoes to escape the collapsing buildings. Eerie!!!
By around noon I had made it to around Columbus Circle
when I heard what I knew to be the loud roar of an
F-15 somewhere overhead but out of sight. A couple of
people started to panic a bit, and say stuff like "I
thought there're no planes allowed in the sky!!!" I
assured them that it was a US Air Force jet, a woman
asked how I knew, and I said I saw them earlier from
my window, and that seemed to settle people down. But
the tension was enormous, and every jet roar caused
EVERYONE to scan the sky nervously.
I've now spent the last 2 days in a semi-haze, going
from hospital to hospital, shelter to shelter trying
to find my cousin Susan, who is among the missing. It
doesn't look good. She worked on the 96th floor of the
North Tower, for Marsh (an insurance firm). At this
writing they have over 700 employees missing.
Her father and brother both worked a couple of blocks
from the WTC. Both were on the streets when the first
plane hit (but not together), and knew it hit very
near to the floor where Susan worked. Her brother
watched dumbfounded as the second plane hit. I forget
which one told me he witnessed people falling from the
A friend of my sister's was running late for work and
was on the steps leading up to the Trade Center when
the first plane hit. She told my sister that she saw
flaming chunks of debris the size of cars land on
people around her as she was running away.
One universal positive, small comfort though it is, is
that people really did pull together. I tried to
donate blood that afternoon, and they were so
overwhelmed with volunteers they were turning us away,
telling us to come back in 6 hours, or tomorrow, or in
a few days.
Everyone I talked to, from cops to hospital workers to
Red Cross personnel to city officials were
SUPER-compassionate, I'm not talking that phony,
condescending compassion people in authority sometimes
use to settle down those undergoing trauma, this was
real concern, real warmth.
I think it's because this wasn't something happening
to ME that they were helping ME deal with, this is
something we are all suffering through together, and
we all keenly feel it.
Anyway, I'm rambling more than I intended to, thanks
again for all your concern, you guys are the best!!!
-Larry Steller aka...
I think it's just plain Larry Steller from here on in.
Any humor I once saw in my moniker "The Sheik Of
Entropy" has kind of dried up on me.
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