Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Note: 10-11 is NOT 9-11

The afternoon was shattered by sirens. Not just the typical passing siren of an ambulance rushing someone to the East Side hospitals, this was a non-stop parade of sirens that seemed to increase in volume and intensity. Just before 3pm, a small aircraft had slammed into the side of a high-rise building just 17 blocks from here.

As you can see by the photo, it was a horrific accident. But before we were certain that it was just an accident there was that flashback to five years and one month ago when New York City and America were attacked by murderous religious fanatics who wish us all dead.

What did we do? Grabbed our "Go Bags" and placed them by the front door, turned on CNN in hopes of hearing that magical word - ACCIDENT.

The sirens continued to whine with greater intensity.

The blackberry buzzed with business and concern from people who know us.

The weather started turning. A sunny day faded into a cold and rainy afternoon. It was as if the weather was as distressed as the rest of us.

The news nets competed to find answers. Was it a helicopter? A plane? Who was in the apartments that were hit? Was anyone dead? Will the 50 story building crumble like the World Trade Center? It goes on and on... For almost two hours, until we get the news that this was a small plane that had an accident. No terrorism, no plot to use smaller planes and bring down Manhattan and America.

And then again... Even more bad news. NY Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle was in the plane... along with a yet unnamed person. Both were dead. Lidle was just 34... a husband, a father, a recent addition to the NY Yankees and possibly at the controls - the second NY Yankee in my lifetime to die in a freak plane crash. (Thurman Munson died while practicing his instrument landings in the summer of 1979.)

We're numb.

We're also relieved this was not terrorism.

An odd cocktail of emotions, and not one I ordered.


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