NEW YORK (CBS 2) — As a nation remembers those killed in the World Trade Center nine years ago, a renewed call is made for religious tolerance.
As some plan to rally in support of an Islamic center in Lower Manhattan on Saturday, others are preparing to open those painful wounds again, reports CBS 2’s Lou Young.
The country will pause Saturday morning for the ninth time since that fateful day on Sept. 11, 2001. The ceremony will be held in Zucotti Park in the hopes that mourners will be able to return to ground zero next year. It still hurts.
“I never work on 9/11. I consider it a day of reflection, [and] remembrance,” Lower Manhattan resident Carla Bolte said.
“It has nothing to do, for me at least, with politics or anger,” said another Lower Manhattan resident, Christina Fantiks. “For me, it’s pain.”
Outside New York, it might be difficult to remember why the pain remains so raw. But in the Big Apple, wounds remain as the memory still hits close to home.
“It collapsed – the top floors collapsed down,” one resident said that day..
“We lost tons of guys, we lost tons of guys,” said a firefighter.
It remains incomprehensible that those giant towers collapsed in on themselves. Lower Manhattan became a moonscape that night, the acrid smoke mixing with that toxic dust drifting past the emergency lighting.
New Yorkers slept uneasily that night, if at all, and the horror was still there in the morning.
“We took pieces from the World Trade Center. I was walking by yesterday as it was burning – we live a couple blocks away,” Brian O’Rourke said the day after the terrorist attacks.
The world knows it as one of three incidents on that horrific day. Hijacked commercial jetlines smashed into the Manhattan towers, and the Pentagon in Washington; another was forced to the ground in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, presumably en route to the Capitol.
But many New Yorkers take the horrors of 9/11 more personally than that. This is their city.
“We heard it, we saw it from our rooftop,” Mary Robinson, of Brooklyn Heights, said.
“I lost five colleagues that day on the planes,” said Greenpoint resident Bill Seltzer. “The ashes of the buildings landed on my children’s rooftop playground in Brooklyn Heights. Yes, it still hurts.”