The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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I interviewed my father in-person. He had been a police officer in the city for about 4-5 years. This day taught him that not everyday is guaranteed. He retired a few months later. It was really hard for him to get through the story so I tried not to push too far into it.

“Jesus Christ the South Tower just fell!”

                The radio in the cruiser has been going all day. What Christian though was just going to be a normal day on the job turned out to be one of the worst days of his life. He had been an officer for a few years now and he thought he had seen it all. Nothing could ever come close to this. The roads were clogged and there was no way to get to the towers from where he was earlier in the morning.

                The screaming coming from the radio was painful to hear. He wanted to turn it off but at the same time he needed to hear what was happening. It almost felt like his blood was getting colder the farther downtown he went. Those towers had been there his whole life. To see only one standing there, especially with a giant whole you could see from anywhere in the city, made him feel like he had stepped into a nightmare. The debris from the fallen tower had flown down the streets and covered a ten block or more radius.

“It’s like I’m driving with my eyes closed.” He mentions to his partner.

“It doesn’t help that all we can hear are sirens.”

The radio goes silent for a few seconds.

“Take cover!”

Metal screams and concrete crumbles. The ground shakes like an earthquake and the smoke that started to clear up become black as night. As they were five blocks away from the World Trade Center, the North Tower came down.

                They pull in as close as they could and start walking to where the towers once stood covering their faces with their uniforms. It was the site of nightmares. Mangled bodies, dismembered limbs and bleeding bystanders riddled the area. The smell was horrible and reminded Christian of burning charcoal. Sitting on a piece of rubble was a man in a firefighter suit, crying. In his hand was a walkie-talkie, it was completely silent.

                There was screaming coming from somewhere to get into the rubble to find someone, anyone that could still be alive. Christian helped search the debris and the rubble, any one they found that wasn’t alive had to be collected and cleaned up. It sickened him to his stomach and he found himself walking away a lot to collect himself. That day he had decided he was dome with being an officer.

Tragedy

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2001
New York, NY

I interviewed my father in-person. He had been a police officer in the city for about 4-5 years. This day taught him that not everyday is guaranteed. He retired a few months later. It was really hard for him to get through the story so I tried not to push too far into it.

Decade: 2000s
Rating:
Recorded by Joey Gomes on December 18, 2018
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