Notes from NY

  1. This was sent from a friend.....

    A friend is a NY City police officer who has been involved in rescue efforts
    at the WTC. I've removed any identifying information from this letter, but
    it brings home what the news stations can't. Through all of this, I've been
    numb... but until now I've had no clue what it must be like for the folks
    that are there. ....

    Hi guys-

    I was wrong- I'm not working 13 hour tours-- I'm doing 16-17 hour days. When
    I get home, I'm so, so, tired, but I can't really sleep, you know? I expect
    I'll crash eventually. Meanwhile, we're all getting by on 5 hours a night.
    Friends, the pictures don't begin to show the tragedy. They show the
    devastation, but they can't convey the vast, all-encompassing horror. At
    4am, the worklights make an eerie brightness over a still smoking wasteland.
    Imagine a war movie- carnage everywhere. Now, magnify that by 1000, and
    immerse yourself in it. Add the smells- jet fuel, and dust and garbage and
    smoke and burning flesh and rotting bodies. Smell it so much you can taste
    Now hear it- hear the cranes and backhoes and engines and generators and
    people talking. Worse, add the sounds you THINK you hear-- the cries for
    help that you're sure came from over there- or is it over there? That way?
    You don't just see the big things, either. You don't just see the massive
    gap in the skyline you grew up with. You see a haze in the air- a haze that
    makes your eyes sting, your throat choke, and your skin itch. You see
    enormous chunks of steel, and concrete and glass. You see cars upside down,
    inside out, 30 feet up on a pile of rubble. You see clothing and shoes and
    vendor's carts and paper, paper everywhere.
    And you see bodies.
    And parts of bodies.
    More than your other senses, though, you FEEL the pain and terror.
    You feel the grit in your eyes, despite your goggles. You feel the uneven
    world below your feet. You feel the ache in your bones from lifting stones,
    only to find nothing underneath. You feel the scrapes and bruises. You feel
    tired, but if they didn't make you stop, you wouldn't until it was all done.
    You feel the despair as you realize the people you've found are nowhere near
    the 10,000 missing. You feel nauseous, all the time. You feel
    incredible frustration, because in your mind, you could be directing the
    rescue efforts better, and getting more done.
    You feel the tears always in the back of your eyes, because your friends and
    so many others are dead.
    And then you feel anger. Rage. Fury.
    And deep sorrow. Guilt. Grief.
    And often, strangely, pride. For your country, your city, your co-workers,
    your friends.
    And you keep digging.

    I know many of you have offered help, and I am grateful. A few things-
    please, continue to give blood, and platelets. Many corporations have been
    extremely generous with donations of food and supplies, but I'm hearing that they still need sheets, socks, heavy work gloves and T-shirts.

    The t-shirts would be so rescue workers and volunteers could change out of their contaminated clothes. It doesn't matter what they look like-- if you have a local merchant who would give a half a dozen shirts with "Ralph's Roto-rooter" on the front, people would be grateful. You can give the donations to your local red cross, or see if you can get the NY area address from them. Maybe mail them direct to these agencies, and clearly mark the packages "disaster donations".
  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   nrsbaby2be
    I grew up in NY. I only moved to Fla. last October with the plan of finishing school here and then returning.

    I'm still in shock. I appreciate the letter.
  4. by   -jt
    My 16 & 14 yr old daughters brought some supplies down to the Red Cross & ended up staying 3 hrs to help out. They answered phones, read a list to people who called asking what was needed, packed boxes of supplies, formed an assembly line &
    loaded up the trucks. Then they took hundreds of the Red Cross's flyers listing the needed supplies to merchants all around the neighborhood to post in their stores, posted them on car windshields, & also gave them out to people on bus stops, in parking lots, on the sidewalks. They were greeted very enthusiastically by everyone & were surprised at how happy the merchants were to get the flyers & how fast they posted them. My girls came home high with a sense of having
    accomplished something. They were so excited & jumping all around begging to stay longer, go back again tomorrow & Sunday. They cant go on Saturday because one is having her sweet 16 birthday party but they will be there all day Sunday. Tonight, theyre talking about being regular Red Cross volunteers. The 14 yr old wants to "join". I was surprised they were so excited. I thought theyd be complaining about having to work! I havent been called in to work at all since unfortunately there are no pts. Census all over the city is down because pts were moved out to make room for the expected survivors that never came. So Ive been off since Monday. The kids signed me up to work the Red Cross office on Sunday with them. When the Red Cross heard I was an RN, they said they may send me to Staten Island Yankee Stadium - the new minor league stadium on the edge of the harbor . The kids thought that was great. I however know that stadium is being used as the new city morgue.
    I'll do whatever I can but I dont know if I can do that. I promised to post the flyer they were passing around......

    1838 Hylan Blvd
    Staten Island, NY 10305

    Donations are being collected at 1838 Hylan Blvd
    (between Naughton Ave & Dongan Hills Rd)

    WE NEED:
    - heavy duty respirator masks
    - Medical Supplies - HPE filter masks, saline eye wash, Bacitracin, Betadine, vaseline gauze, saline irrigation bottles, Kling bandages, 4x4s, band aides, isopropyl alcohol, eye protection goggles, eye pads, scrubs, and anything else your facility can donate
    - packaged snacks, hard candies, small bottles of drinking water
    - lots of throat lozenges
    - tooth brushes, tooth paste, mouth wash
    - under shirts and shorts (larger sizes)
    - construction boots & sneakers (size 10 & up) need not be new
    - new or used sweat pants, tee shirts, light jackets, cotton socks
    - heavy duty work gloves
    - welders and iron workers!!
  5. by   KellyandtheBoys
    I feel for all the rescue workers in New York and Washington D.C. God Bless each and every one of them. I know we've given blood and the schools in this area are collecting money and donations for the persons so tragically involved in this. It isn't much, but, each little bit helps.

    Your friend and all involved are true heros!
  6. by   eventsnyc
    jt we need a few more billions of people like you and your daughters in this world! I am proud to be an American because of people like you. Continue with your good work!

  7. by   -jt
    I am proud to be an American because of people like you.

    Thanks Christina but I am just one of the millions who have responded in kind. I am proud too - immensely proud of this city, the police & fire dept (which includes our Emergency Medical Service), the merchants, and the people. And most of all, I am so proud of our Mayor! It was his leadership & strength that held this city together after terrorists tried to blow it apart. I am so grateful that it was "take-no-s@%! Rudy" at the helm when this all happened. And Im going to tell him that as soon as his website is back online. And then I am writing his name in on the ballot - to hell with term limits!

    ".......about Giuliani; he's a wartime mayor if ever there was one. In the face of the worst catastrophe in New York City history, he has been shaken but utterly resolute.
    The mayor's public statements and personal example deserve much of the credit for the calm that has prevailed since Tuesday morning. He has steadied the city, and done it with a grace under fire that is inspiring. When he says the city will recover and come back stronger than ever, he sounds less like a politician posturing than a man making a solemn promise........ "

    New York Daily News Online | News and Views | Opinion | Watch Rudy for Wartime Leadership
  8. by   mustangsheba
    jt - thank you for the tragic and eloquent letter. I'm sitting here trying to think of the words that would convey the message from my heart, but there are no words that are adequate. I will make a list of the supplies needed and my granddaughter and I will present ourselves at the Red Cross on Monday to offer our services. Love and peace.