Sept. the 11th 2001
Sept. the 11th 2002
Last time I came to New-York to deliver a 2CV, I went to walk between the two gigantic towers of the World Trade Center. I stayed at the very foot on the corner of a tower, looking to the sky, with the amazing sensation that this slick and shining building was quite never ending. I took the express lift to go to the last panoramic level where I bought this souvenir : a copper medal stamped in front of my eyes, between big gears, from a cents coin that I putted in the slot of an amazing "copper stamping machine", the kind of machine one can only find in the USA.
And on september the 11th 2001, when I switched on TV for the 8pm news, I saw the twin towers collapsing on thousands people.
Je suis atterrť.
That was one year ago, by the end of the afternoon (french hour). I had finished a few letters and I went to put them in the mailbox which is just a few hundred meters from my appartment. I crossed the street at the traffic lights, put the letters in the mailbox and went back home. Traffic lights were green for cars so I waited for the red signal before to cross. Weather was sunny with a nice blue sky. A young man, a student from the close University, stopped by me and, all of a sudden, asked me :
- Have you seen what happenend in the United States ?!
He was looking very annoyed and very excited at the same time. Well, some foolish or drunk guy, I thought. But that was not a reason for me to be unpolite, one never know what a foolish or drunk (or both) guy can react if he feels you're unpolite with him... so I asked :
- No, but what happened in the United States ?
- A plane crashed in the Empire State building, which collapsed, and another plane crashed in the Pentagon, which is under fire ! The United States are under attack from the Palestinian people ! That's war !
I thought : Boys, is he deep drunk, or deep fool... The Empire State building which collapsed from a plane, the Pentagon under fire... :-) Ridiculous, what a joke !
I decided to try to cool the guy :
- I visited the Empire State building : that's a huge building, a plane can't destroy it. I know it already received a plane crash and as you can see it is still here. May be a plane crashed on it, but it surely not destroyed the building, (Note : I thought about a light tourism plane, with the pilot having an heart attack or some huge mechanical trouble, and the plane just flying alone, hitting the building...) and you can be sure it's an accident not an attack.
By that time, the traffic light turned red, so I crossed the street.
The guy crossed the street with me, still following me with his stupid history.
- But there was another plane which crashed on the Pentagon !
- No, you misunderstood : one accident can happen, but two, at the same time and on such symbolic buildings, that's impossible. It's obviously a tale. Where did you heard about that ?
- On the radio, that's not a tale, that's true, believe me : that's war !
- Keep cool, you misunderstood or that was part from a joke, or something like what did Orson Wells in the 50's. That's just impossible, be sure.
On next crossing I turned left to go back home, hoping that the poor foolish guy would turn right and stop bothering me with his story. Fortunately, this is what happened. He left me repeating his story :
- I'm telling you the truth, I swear, you'll see...
- Keep cool : That's just impossible, have a nice day.
Half a second later, I had forgotten everything about the story.
I had a meeting with a friend at 7pm. I parked my car in front of his house, rang the bell and entered the garden, as I usually do. But something unusual happened : my friend came out from his home, very excited, came by me and asked :
- Have you seen what happenend ?!
I tried to remember if I had seen something on the road, or around, when coming, but I had not noticed anything unusual, so I asked :
- No, why that question ? What should I have noticed ?
- The World Trade Center... It collapsed... Both towers... Two planes crashed on them and they collapsed. Fortunately that we went to see them during our 2CV trip in 1992, because they no longer exist !
I was very deceived by my friend. He is quite clever and definitively not the kind of guy believing any stupid story. But despite of that he too was believing that impossible tale.
- But WHAT is that rumor ?! Where did you heard that kind of bullshit ?! This afternoon while I was going to send mail, a guy told me that same kind of stupidity. In his story, it was the Empire State building and the Pentagon which was destroyed. Now, you're telling me something similar, but there's no Pentagon anymore and that's the World Trade Center...
- But that's NOT a story. It is not the Empire State building but the World Trade center which collapsed, from a kamizaze attack, and the Pentagon too !
That time, it was obvious my friend was trying to fool me, and I felt very sad that such a good friend could try to fool me thinking I could believe something so stupid... As I was standing in front of him, trying to find how to say to him in a gentle way that he was really deceiving me, he added :
- The Prime Minister is on the TV, come !
How could my friend continue his stupid story with an even more stupid one ?! Of course the Prime Minister was not speaking at the TV because all this was obviously a rumor ! I thought that may be some other friends was inside and they had decided to make some stupid joke to me, trying to fool me with that rumor. Yes, that was the only logical explanation : I had friends inside the home. So I went inside, with a great smile, ready to tell everybody I had not believed their ridiculous story even half a second.
But when I entered the home, TV was switched on the Prime Minister talking about the different decisions government was applying since they had been warned of the attack on the USA.
Attack ?! On the USA ?! That's true ?! That's true ? That's true !
The World Trade Center... Collapsed... How was it possible ? The guy on the street... He was mainly right.. A kamikaze attack... With Boeing planes... Unbelievable... But true...
At 8pm, the news opened with the images of the two planes crashing on the Twin Towers, and the towers collapsing in turn, creating a gigantic grey powder cloud.
I had to see that to definitively believe it, but even with the images I could hardly believe my eyes.
Sept. the 11th 2002