Thursday, 11 September 2008

My Local Paper, 9-18-2001

The Princeton Packet, September18th, 2001 (click on image and it will enlarge)

The Todd Beamer obituary continues on the second image. Click it to enlarge. And then there is the obit of my old friend whom I worked with in the English-Speaking Union, Henry Chace Tatnall. I'd gone to his wedding, and would go to his memorial service. The 9-1-1 experience was such that everyone was on needles and pins at the church. We still expected anything to happen, for months on end afterwards. Now, people forget, and conspiracy theorists around the world,who hate America, even in Russia, are making 9-1-1 their plaything. Real people saw the planes crash into the towers, and real people died in them.
The tiny Ivy League town Princeton Borough had a heavy cloud of yellow-gray smoke hanging over it at 5:00 a.m. on September 12th, 2001, as I picked up my very truncated issue of the Wall Street Journal from my front porch. The WSJ had moved their HQ during the night, to North Brunswick just up the road from Princeton. The air smelled like burning metal, among other unidentifiable odors. I had been at Princeton Racquet Club the morning before, and one of the owners/coaches (Colleen Cosgrove & Judy) whispered something to the other one, who expressed shock. When asked what was wrong, they said they'd tell us after class in fifteen minutes. I asked if another building had been blown up in nearby Manhattan--I had been waiting for the second shoe to drop since 1993, when the first bombing of the World Trade Center was done. I was in Manhattan that day in February, 1993, and it was total chaos as people tried to leave the tiny island. She said, "Yes--but worse", and I told my tennis colleague, Cynthia Miner, that this was going to be the news story for a long time to come. I went home and saw another plane fly into the Twin Towers.

I had a red and white sign produced by the Times of Trenton: "U.S. Attacked by Terrorists", which had fallen from the newspaper box on Nassau St., walking distance from my place That was a very strange collectors' item. I don't have it anymore. I also had the Wanted: Dead or Alive New Yok Post cover, depicting Osama bin Laden.

A few months later, 9-1-1 hero Todd (and wife Lisa) Beamer's baby was born in Princeton Medical Center.

~~M-J de M.