AS I SEE IT: Bob MageePro Wrestling: Between the Sheets PWBTS.com
This past Tuesday made it six years since September 11, 2001. September 11, 2001…The kind of day that many Americans thought they were protected from, because of the two oceans that surround the 48 states of the continental Unied States of America. September 11, 2001…The kind of day that many Americans thought happened in the Middle East…or Europe…or somewhere else.
September 11, 2001…The kind of day where America saw its most tragic event…and its most heroic sons and daughters. Unknown to us all as we woke up and went to work, school, and to our daily activities… in the early hours of September 11, four commercial airliners departing from East Coast airports with full loads of fuel, were hijacked to be used as airborne weapons against the people and the economic structure of the United States. At 8:46 am EDT, American Airlines Flight 11 from Boston crashed into the North Tower at the World Trade Center. Then, at 9:03 am, United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston crashed into the South Tower at the World Trade Center. 42 minutes later, at 9:45 am EDT, American Flight 77 crashed into The Pentagon. In Manhattan just 30 minutes later, at 10:05 am EDT, The South Tower at the World Trade Center collapsed. At 10:10 am EDT, United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in a wooded area in Shanksville, PA, after the heroic efforts of passengers who confronted hijackers who had intended to crash Flight 93 into the US Capitol or the White House. Finally, at 10:28 am EDT, in Manhattan, The North Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed.
2,997 people (including 24 officially still listed as missing) were killed in those horrific two hours, consisting of 246 airline passengers (in Pennsylvania, New York, and Virginia), 2,626 in Manhattan (including 343 New York City Fire Department firefighters, 23 New York City Police Department officers, and 37 Port Authority police officers) and 125 at the Pentagon. In the single largest loss of life of first responders in United States history, 403 police officers and firefighters lost their lives attempting to save those trapped in the World Trade Center. Those first responders who died, as well as those who survived…saved the lives of thousands upon thousands of office worker, service workers, and just plain everyday New Yorkers in that building….in a moment of heroism that is without precedent in American history. Then, there was the everyday heroism of New Yorkers who did whatever they could to help; regardless of race, religion, creed, or their status of life. They did whatever they could to help strangers who they had never seen before…and likely have not seen since that Day of Horror. In a society that often gives far too much respect to rank and privilege, Americans became just plain Americans for one day…and for some days to come…and did whatever they had to do to survive the deadliest attack on America in its history. People responded, coming to Ground Zero, literally tearing away rubble with their bare hands. They overwhelmed Red Cross centers to give blood for those precious few who were pulled out from the rubble of the World Trade Center. They went to every possible police, fire, and EMS station to ask how they could help. They donated hundreds of millions of dollars to 9/11 related charities. Sadly, there are first responders who have died as a result of the toxic substances, which included asbestos, lead, mercury, dioxin, PAHs, crystalline silica, lead, cadmium, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Many of these substances are carcinogenic; while those that were not carcinogenic are known for causing kidney, heart, liver and nervous system deterioration. The State of New York and the Federal government have done little, if anything to compensate those first responders who came to Ground Zero to try and save lives. So, on September 11, 2001, the United States of America was under attack. Some of the names that you read about regularly on wrestling websites like mine had someone affected. Many more had loved ones who escaped through the grace of God, and the efforts of the heroic first responders. Given their proximity to Manhattan, a large number of the performers, office staff and others of the WWE had ties to New York City. All of those people were apparently and fortunately spared loss of life. Even so, they and all of us experienced a deep wound to our hearts that endures to this day. The only comparison for Americans that can be made to September 11, 2001, is to events such as Pearl Harbor, something I know of only through the fact that my father named me after a cousin of his…who is still buried with the USS Arizona, Robert Thomas Magee. My generation, and those born after it, had not actually experienced wartime or a moment reminescent of it on a national scale until that crystal clear morning of September 11, 2001. In those days back in 2001, many involved online and in wrestling itself offered their thoughts on how the events of September 11th have affected them. Here are excerpts of just a few of these comments back in 2001: Dave Scherer, Daily Lariat, September 12th “…For all of the horrible things that occurred yesterday though, the events also put on display for the world something that makes Americans what they are, and that is the incredible heart of the American people. It’s a character trait that should make us all proud of where we live. During the most horrific series of events this country has ever seen, the American people stood up to help their own. They went into crumbling buildings, knowingly risking their lives to help people in need. They offered their services to authorities. They stood in line at blood banks to make sure they could donate the liquid of life. People came to the aid of their brethren in their time of need, and that is exactly what being an American is all about… …We were sent a wake up call yesterday. We were told that we need to appreciate what we have a little more than we have. When you see your loved ones, cherish them. Hug them. Kiss them. Realize how important they are to you and your life. When you get in your car and go to your job, realize how much you have. Don’t take it for granted. We all have so much. We can’t take it for granted because as yesterday showed, it can all be taken away in a moment.” Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer, September 12 “…Yesterday was a day like no other, in all of our lives. It’s a numbing feeling, knowing that our world has changed while watching a nightmare that few or us probably ever even considered was a possibility.
To those of you who lost friends or family yesterday, my heart goes out to you… I hope everyone took a moment out yesterday to reflect and thank those who are closest to you for being close to you. There are so many people who are in our lives, loved ones, close friends, business relationships, that are there, day in and day out. Sometimes you take them for granted. We’ve all had our good times and our bad and are somehow linked together by a strange industry, that most of us no doubt spent very little time thinking about yesterday…”
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