9/11 Ten Years Later-Personal Account

It was after 8:30 in the morning of September 11 2001, that Sara and I were awakened with the news that a plane just crashed into one of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center.

With disbelief in our eyes as we watch each other while making our way up to the roof of her apartment at 509-15 Court Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn—where we were living at that time. It was a gorgeous clear day with bright blue sky in the early fall in New York City.

Fue después de las 8:30 de la mañana del 11 de Septiembre del 2001, que Sara y yo nos despertamos con la noticia de que un avión se acababa de estrellar contra una de las Torres Gemelas en el World Trade Center.

Con la incredulidad en nuestros ojos cuando nos veiamos al tiempo que ibamos subiendo hacia la azotea del edificio de su departamento en la calle Court 509-15 en Red Hook, en Brooklyn, donde vivíamos en esos momentos. Era un día magnífico y claro con el cielo azul y brillante en el Jóven Otoño en Nueva York.

I carried with me my photographic gear, not knowing what I would witness. Once on the roof I set my tripod and start taking photographs of the first tower covered with smoke. Suddenly Sara started to scream “another plane, another plane.” I heard the sound of a commercial airliner flying very low on the New York Bay on my left side, and was able to capture the second impact and the explosion on the second tower.

I swear that with the ball of fire created by the second impact we listened to more than a thousand screams at the same moment. Sara was pregnant with our twin boys and was ready to go to work at her office in Midtown. After what we just witnessed, I did not let her go anywhere until we found out what was going on. I still keep some burned papers that like teardrops fell from the sky on us on the roof in Red Hook. After a few minutes we were covered by a heavy smoke with a burnt flesh smell on it so we went downstairs.

Llevé conmigo mi equipo fotográfico, sin saber de lo que sería testigo. Una vez en la azotea puse mi trípode y empezé a tomar fotografías de la primera torre cubierta de humo. De repente, Sara comenzó a gritar “otro avión, otro avión.” Escuché el sonido de un avión comercial que volaba muy bajo en la bahía de Nueva York en mi costado izquierdo, y fuí capaz de capturar el segundo impacto y la explosión en la segunda torre.

Juro que con la bola de fuego creada por el segundo impacto, escuchamos más de un millar de gritos en el mismo momento. Sara estaba embarazada de nuestro niños gemelos y estaba lista para irse a trabajar a su oficina en el centro de Manhattan. Después de lo que acabamos de presenciar, no la dejé ir a ningún lado hasta que nos dieramos cuenta de lo que estaba pasando. Todavía tengo algunos papeles quemados que como gotas de lágrimas cayeron del cielo sobre nosotros en el techo en Red Hook. Después de unos minutos estabamos cubiertos por un denso humo con un olor a piel quemada en él, así que bajamos al departamento.

Flight 175 crashes at about 590 mph into the south face of South Tower (2WTC) between floors 77th and 85th. 9:03;02

Flight 175 crashes at about 590 mph into the south face of South Tower (2WTC) between floors 77th and 85th. 9:03;02

Flight 175 crashes at about 590 mph into the south face of South Tower (2WTC) between floors 77th and 85th. 9:03;02

Flight 175 crashes at about 590 mph into the south face of South Tower (2WTC) between floors 77th and 85th. 9:03;02

Flight 175 crashes at about 590 mph into the south face of South Tower (2WTC) between floors 77th and 85th. 9:03;02

Flight 175 crashes at about 590 mph into the south face of South Tower (2WTC) between floors 77th and 85th. 9:03;02

Flight 175 crashes at about 590 mph into the south face of South Tower (2WTC) between floors 77th and 85th. 9:03;02

We, as a country, still feel the open wound of the first attack on US continental soil in our recent history. After billions of dollars were left in the US Treasury by a Democratic government led by Bill Clinton, the Supreme Court decided in 2000 against the will of the people and the popular vote, giving the Presidential Office to a Republican candidate George W. Bush in a most disputed and spurious election in US history.

After only eight months of the Bush-Cheney administration inauguration and after several dismissals of Richard A. “Dick” Clarke memos (National Security Advisor and Counterterrorism Adviser), the World Trade Center was attacked with commercial airplanes. Richard Clarke had, a week before the attack, sent a personal note to Condoleezza Rice warning about the “looming of the threat posed by Osama bin Laden and Al Quaeda and a possible attack with commercial planes.” George W. Bush was at Sarasota, Florida, promoting his “education program” in the morning of September 11, 2001 at the Booker Elementary School. After being informed of the attacks he continued reading The Pet Goat by Ebglelmann/Brunner, to the elementary class for seven minutes. George W. Bush gives his first press conference at 9:30 at the school and after that the Secret Service took him to a secure location on Air Force One.

Nosotros, como país, todavía sentimos la herida abierta del primer ataque en suelo continental de EE.UU. en nuestra historia reciente. Después de miles de millones de dólares que se dejaron en el Tesoro de los EE.UU. por un gobierno democrático encabezado por Bill Clinton, el Tribunal Supremo decidió en el año 2000 en contra de la voluntad del pueblo y el voto popular, dando la Oficina de la Presidencia a un candidato republicano George W. Bush en las elecciones más disputadas y espurias en la historia de los EE.UU.

Rescue Teams from all over the country helped on the removing of the ruble after the Twin Towers colapsed, the rescue workers name it "The Pile" at what was the WTC.

Después de sólo ocho meses de la inauguración de Bush-Cheney y después de hacer oidos sordos a Richard A. “Dick” Clarke memos (Asesor de seguridad nacional y Asesor de la lucha en-contra del terrorismo), el World Trade Center fue atacado con aviones comerciales. Richard Clarke, una semana antes del ataque, envió una nota personal a Condoleezza Rice, alertandola sobre la “inminente amenaza constituida por Osama bin Laden y Al Qaeda y un posible ataque con aviones comerciales.” George W. Bush estaba en Sarasota, Florida, promoviendo su “programa de educación” en la mañana del 11 de Septiembre del 2001 en la Escuela Primaria Booker. Tras ser informado de los ataques, continuó la lectura de LaMascota Cabra por Ebglelmann / Brunner, a la clase de primaria por otros siete minutos. George W. Bush dió su primera conferencia de prensa a las 9:30 en la escuela y después el Servicio Secreto se lo llevó a un lugar seguro en el avión presidencial.

With Bush out of the way and from behind the curtains and in the shadows of undisclosed locations, Vice President Dick Cheney took charge of the high level governmental decisions. While the entire planet throws their support and sorrow to our country, the darkest political negotiations took place during this time, sneaking Osama bin Laden ’s family out of the country and planting the seeds for the wars to come.

American society stood together in solidarity with each other, picking up every piece of wreckage looking for survivors at “the pile” that was formerly the World Trade Center. This great human development was all but dismissed by the greed of the big multi-national corporations that were behind the Bush-Cheney administration. The corporations slowly but surely took charge and kidnapped our government and democracy, to this very day, after ten years!

Con Bush fuera del camino y detrás de cortinas y en las sombras de lugares no revelados, el vicepresidente Dick Cheney se hizo cargo de las decisiones gubernamentales de alto nivel. Mientras todo el planeta lanzaba su apoyo y tristeza a nuestro país, las más oscuras negociaciones políticas se llevarón a cabo; durante este tiempo, y a escondidas, la familia de Osama bin Laden ‘s fué puesta en aviones fuera del país y la plantación de las semillas de las guerras por venir, fueron  sembradas.

La sociedad estadounidense se unifico con solidaridad de unos con otros, levantando cada pieza de los restos de las Torres Gemelas en busca de sobrevivientes en “la pila” de lo que antes era el World Trade Center. Este gran desarrollo humano fué desestimado por la codicia de las grandes corporaciones multinacionales que estában detrás de la administración Bush-Cheney. Las empresas poco a poco se pusieron  cargo y secuestraron a nuestro gobierno y a nuestra democracia, hasta este mismo día, después de diez años!

Spontaneusly, people start gathering at the Union Square Park, on 14th street and Broadway, to confort to each other and to bring flowers and prayers to those who died ath the WTC and at the Pentagon as well, the shrines in the memory of those who were kill, appeared in all the city. Volunteers spend all night taking care of the candels.

Atta Boamah from Gahana, Africa, lives in Jersey City, NJ, He lost three family members, sing spirituals with a group of people in front of the Center for Family Assistance Lexington Avenue at 25th Street.

José Dolores Javier, holds a self made poster of his nephew, Antonio Javier, in front of the Center for Family Assistance on Lexington Avenue at 25th Street, Manhattan,Antonio Javier was working on the 107 floor of the north Tower as food preparator for the "Windows of the World" Restaurant, he has been missing and fear death after the atack. The Javier family are from Santa Inés de Ahuatenco, Puebla, México.

Spontaneusly, people start gathering at the Union Square Park, on 14th street and Broadway, to confort to each other and to bring flowers and prayers to those who died ath the WTC and at the pentagon as well, the shrines in the memory of those who were kill, appeared in all the city.

In front of what it was her apartment at 368-366 Union Street in Brooklyn, a shrine in memory of Claudia Martinez-Foster missing on september 11 atack, who worked at Cantor-Fitzgerald at the 103th floor in the WTC.

The dust of the destruction cover up all Lower Manhattan, this store is located three blocks of the former WTC, Chelsea Jeans Store, 196 Broadway.

A war was declared against the host government who was hiding the individuals who were responsible for the attack. Al Quaeda and Osama bin Laden were being protected by the Taliban in Afghanistan. The US army was deployed and they cornered bin Laden in December 2001 at the far away zone bordering Pakistan: Tora-Bora. But the Bush-Cheney administration halted the green light to finish him and let him escape for further political use. There have been several accounts of what happened there from the Delta Force team and CIA Paramilitary officers in the area, “ . . . all concluded that several field petitions were denied by unidentified officials at higher headquarters for unknown reasons.”

Why then, on September 13, 2011, when George W. Bush spoke at the top of what was called “The Pile” at Ground Zero, he said through a blow horn: “I can hear you. . .And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear us soon.” That very same day he declared back in the White House: “The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him.” –Washington, D.C., Sept. 13, 2001

Se declaró guerra contra el gobierno anfitrión, que escondía a las personas que fueron responsables del ataque. Al Qaeda y Osama bin Laden que estaban siendo protegidos por los Talibanes en Afganistán. El ejército de EE.UU. se desplegó y arrinconaron a bin Laden en Diciembre del 2001 en una zona enmedio de la nada cerca de la frontera con Pakistán: Tora-Bora. Pero la administración Bush-Cheney detuvo la luz verde para acabar con él y lo dejaron escapar para su uso político más adelante. Ha habido varias conclusiones de lo que sucedió allí y ha sido el clandestino equipo Delta Force y oficiales paramilitares de la CIA en la zona: “. . . los que concluyeron que varias peticiones desde las lineas de fuego fueron rechazadas por funcionarios no identificados en los cuarteles generales superiores por razones desconocidas. ”

¿Por qué entonces, el 13 de septiembre de 2011, George W. Bush habló en la cima de lo que se llamó “La Pila” en la Zona Cero, y dijo a través de un magnavoz: “Yo te escucho. . . Y la gente que derribó estos edificios nos va a escuchar muy pronto “Ese mismo día él declaró en la Casa Blanca:”.. Lo más importante para nosotros es encontrar a Osama bin Laden es nuestra prioridad número uno y lo haremos no descansaremos hasta que lo encontremos. “- Washington, D. C., 13 de septiembre 2001

By his first State of the Union Address George W. Bush stated: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” –State of the Union Address, Jan. 28, 2003, making a claim that administration officials knew at the time to be false.

One has to question why the change from wanting to capture bid Laden, to not caring. In early Spring George W. Bush declared in a press conference: “I don’t know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don’t care. It’s not that important. It’s not our priority.” –Washington, D.C., March 13, 2002. Clearly he needed bin Laden alive for more important things. While Bush was rushing all his cabinet to connect nonexistent dots between Al Quaeda and Saddam Hussein; Karl Rove was masterminding the fear mongering card played by Donald Rumsfield, Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice, then Security Advisor: “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” –National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, on Iraq’s nuclear capabilities and the Bush administration’s case for war, Sept 8, 2002. While selling the war on Iraq and the looking for Weapons of Mass Destruction was going on, all of this with the complicity of the mass media, no one was able to question or criticize the Bush-Cheney administration or even the “status quo’ without being qualified as un-American or threatened by treason during war time.

UN Photo/Marco Castro. 09/21/2006. Ministerial-Level Security Council Meeting on Middle East/ Condoleezza Rice (centre), Secretary of State of the United States of America, addresses the ministerial-level Security Council meeting to discuss the situation in the Middle East.

En su primer Informe de Gobierno, George W. Bush declaró: “El gobierno británico se ha enterado de que Saddam Hussein recientemente buscó cantidades significativas de uranio en África”. – Estado de la Unión, 28 de enero de 2003, haciendo una afirmación de que funcionarios de la administración sabían en ese momento que era falso.

Uno tiene que preguntarse por qué el cambio de querer capturar a bin Laden, para de repente no preocuparse. A principios de la primavera del 2002, George W. Bush declaró en una conferencia de prensa: “No sé dónde está Bin Laden no tengo ni idea, y realmente no me importa, no es tan importante no es nuestra prioridad….” – Washington, D. C., 13 de Marzo de 2002. Es evidente que necesitaba bin Laden vivo para cosas más importantes. Mientras Bush estaba apurando a todo su gabinete para conectar puntos inexistente entre Al Qaeda y Saddam Hussein, Karl Rove fue el cerebro de la tarjeta de alarmismo interpretado por Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney y Condoleezza Rice, entonces Asesora de Seguridad: “No queremos que el cuerpo del delito sea un hongo atómico “. Asesora de Seguridad Nacional, Condoleezza Rice, sobre las capacidades nucleares de Irak y el caso de la administración Bush-Cheney para la guerra, 08 de septiembre 2002. La venta de la guerra en Irak y la busca de armas de destrucción masiva estaba pasando, con la complicidad de los medios de comunicación, nadie fué capaz de cuestionar o criticar a la administración Bush-Cheney, o incluso el “status quo”, sin ser calificado como anti-estadounidense o amenazados por traición a la patria en tiempos de guerra.

The Republican Congress gave the Bush-Cheney administration a blank check for both wars along with a tax cut for the big corporations and the ultra rich! America was being robbed in plain sight. All of the sudden all the billion of dollars in surplus left in the U.S. Treasury by Bill Clinton transformed in front of our very eyes in multitrillions of dollars in debt. The only winners: the big corporations, the big oil companies and also companies like Halliburton on which VP “Dick” Cheney was sitting at their board at that time.

To make sure things did not change for a while, the Bush-Cheney administration seated two Supreme Court Justices: John G. Roberts Jr. (2005) and Samuel A. Alito Jr. (2006). This move resulted in moving the Court to the Conservative side. This effort produced the expected results as the Supreme Court rejected corporate spending limits in candidate elections. “Joined by the other three members of the court’s liberal wing, Justice Stevens said the majority had committed a grave error in treating corporate speech the same as that of human beings.” Both Bush-Cheney appointees wrote in concurrence: “simply a matter of legislative grace.”
The New York Times/Politics Justices, 5-4, Reject Corporate Spending Limits By Adam Liptak, Published: January 21, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/us/politics/22scotus.html

El Congreso republicano dio a la administración Bush-Cheney un cheque en blanco para las dos guerras, junto con una reducción de impuestos para las grandes corporaciones y los ultra ricos! América estaba siendo robada a la vista de todos. De repente todos los millones de dólares en excedentes del gobierno democrata anterior en el Tesoro de los EE.UU. dejado por el presidente Bill Clinton se transformó delante de nuestros ojos en multitrillions de dólares en deuda. Los únicos ganadores: las grandes corporaciones, las grandes compañías petroleras y empresas como Halliburton en la que VP “Dick” Cheney estaba sentado en su consejo de gobierno en esos momentos.

Para asegurarse de que las cosas no cambiaran por un tiempo, la administración Bush-Cheney sentó dos jueces en la Corte Suprema John G. Roberts Jr. (2005) y Samuel A. Alito Jr. (2006). Este cambio resultó en el movimiento a la Corte hacia el lado conservador. Este esfuerzo produjo los resultados esperados, cuando la Corte Suprema rechazó los límites corporativos de gasto en las elecciones de candidatos. “Junto con los otros tres miembros del ala liberal de la corte, el juez Stevens dijo que la mayoría había cometido un grave error en el tratamiento del discurso corporativo de la misma manera que la de los seres humanos.” Los Jueces que Bush-Cheney sentaron escribierón en una manera conjunta: “simplemente es una cuestión de gracia legislativa “.
The New York Times / Política Jueces, 5-4, rechazar los límites corporativos de gastos Por Adam Liptak, de publicación: 21 de enero 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/us/politics/22scotus.html

Finally after 10 agonizing years of waiting; the breaking news was given on May 2nd this year when President Obama announced at the White House: “Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the most devastating attack on American soil in modern times and the must hunted man in the world, was killed in a fire fight with United States forces in Pakistan.”

This closed a chapter of the war on terror, but we have to let our voice be heard loud and clear, that the repugnant poison of corruption that entered our democratic system through the manipulation of fear behind declaring two wars is not over. We need to fight harder than ever to not let terrorism win through Wall St and the big corporations. We must take America back, our government back, and our democracy back. We must do this, for the future of our children and the sake of the children of our children.

Finalmente después de 10 años de angustiosa espera, la noticias de última hora se dieron a conocer  el 2 de mayo de este año cuando el presidente Obama anunció en la Casa Blanca: “Osama bin Laden, el cerebro de los ataques más devastadores en suelo estadounidense en los tiempos modernos y el hombre más buscado en el mundo, murió en un tiroteo con fuerzas de los Estados Unidos en Pakistán. ”

Esto cerró un capítulo de la guerra contra el terrorismo, pero tenemos que dejar que nuestra voz se escuche alta y bien clara, que el veneno repugnante de la corrupción ha entrado en nuestro sistema democrático a través de la manipulación del miedo detrás de declarar dos guerras que no han terminado. Tenemos que luchar hoy más que nunca, y no dejar que el terrorismo gane a través de Wall Street y las grandes corporaciones. Tenemos que tomar de regreso America, nuestro Gobierno y nustra democracia.Tenemos que hacer esto, por el futuro de nuestros hijos y por el bien de los hijos de nuestros hijos.

We the people!!!
Nosotros, el pueblo!

Marco Castro

New York City. 04/09/02. Last days of the Memorial Light at the site were the World Trade Center once stood.

Recommended readings:
Lecturas recomendadas:

Brock, David. The Republican Noise Machine; Right Wing Media and How it Corrupts Democracy. Crown Publishers, New York, N. Y. 2004 ISBN 1-4000-4875-3

Rich, Frank. Day’s End-The 9/11 decade is now over. The terrorist lost. But who won? At New York Magazine Special Double Issue September 5-12 2011.

Schoeffel, John/Mitchel R. Peter. Editors. Understanding Power-The Indispensable Chomsky. The New Press, New York 2002. ISBN 978-1-56584-703-3

The 9/11 Commission Report. Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. Authorized Edition. W.W. Norton & Company, New York-London ISBN 0-393-32671-3 (pbk.)

About marcocastrophotography

I was born and raised in México City, where the mixture of cultures gave birth to the nation that we know as México. My grandmother was the last in my family who spoke fluent Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs. Due to the racism in those days, she never taught her daughters the language, and therefore, we, as a family, lost our cultural heritage. I have been involved, however, with the indigenous world, even though I do not believe this happened by coincidence. I have a background as a graphic designer, one credit short of a BA in Graphic Communication Design from the National School of Visual Arts, National Autonomous University of Mexico (ENAP-UNAM). While in a Photographic Workshop at the University Center of Cinematographic Studies (CUEC-UNAM), I met a photographer who changed my life forever: Ignacio “Nacho” López. I can still see how strongly he influences me when I develop my work in my digital darkroom. I have also had the opportunity to share marvelous moments with photographers like Dolores Alvarez-Bravo, Hector García, Lázaro Blanco, and Walter Reuter who introduced me to the etnia Triqui in Oaxaca, Mexico (Triqui Nation). I traveled and worked as Reuter's assistant for several years. I moved to New York City in 1993, which was a dream of mine for years. Here I have had the opportunity to collaborate with newspapers, magazines, and several news organizations, as well as literary publications. I also have been working as a photographer-consultant for the United Nations headquarters in New York City for the past six years at the openings of the General Assemblies. I spent endless hours in my darkroom, even mixing my own chemicals blowing up my prints back in my hometown; skills that I apply today in my digital work with attention to detail. I hold a BA on Communication and Culture from the School of Professional Studies at the Graduate Center City University of New York class of 2010. I consider myself as a Photojournalist with a Humanistic approach; I have an opportunity to rapidly built rapport with my subjects allowing me to break the barriers of language and culture; this open the doors for me to get a glimpse at their experience on their daily life and activities. Taking advantage of the old school and the digital imagining, I take the Previsualization of an image as taught by Anselm Adams with the algorithms of the new digital era and combine them to enhance what I see and experience at the moment of capture. My experience as a printer in Black and White darkroom, has allow me to choose the right material to support my imaginery. Using the Canon Pro9500 MarkII with it’s high-performance, high-density 7680 nozzle FINE print head that produces ink droplets as small as 3-picoliters for stunning, true-to-life images. The Canon LUCIA ink system guarantees archival photo life up to 100 years. All this in a 100 % acid-free cotton paper as the Moab Somerset enhanced velvet 225gsm. In 13” by 19” prints that I sale as fine art. As freelance Photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. Am always open for the booking of my expertise and for hire anywhere in the world as I hold two passports as Mexican-American and a driver’s license for the State of New York.
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7 Responses to 9/11 Ten Years Later-Personal Account

  1. William Divale says:

    Marco
    Great blog and great photos
    Dr. Divale

  2. Ellen Smiley says:

    Marco – Your photos communicate in such a powerful way – both about the gut-wrenching shock and sadness of Sept. 11th and also about the ways in which we forgot, for a time, about the differences between us, and came together for comfort. Thanks for sharing all of this. Ellen Smiley

  3. Beautifully moving and so in touch. Marco was the first student to create a Senior Research ePortfolio with us: https://cunyonline.digication.com/marco.castro/Welcome/published.

  4. Elefant says:

    The year 2001 should not be repeated

  5. Jon says:

    I don’t understand how you had your photography gear on you, you heard a plane, but you don’t capture ANY photo with a “plane” in it, and only capture the impact and explosion. What gives ? How can this be?

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