Blogs Across America Set to Commemorate 9/11
It's called Project 2,996, and the goal is to have 2,996 different bloggers remember a different victim of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks this coming Monday, the fifth anniversary of "9/11."
A number of local bloggers, including BodyPolitic's Josh Gross, will be participating in this original and inspirational project, but like all good things - FITS couldn't resist being just a step ahead of the crowd.
Actually, we were several steps behind this time as it turns out, because the Project 2,996 list had already been finalized by the time we heard about the website and tried to sign up.
But borrowing a page from local blogger Brian McCarty, we figure no one will be particularly offended if some people get honored more than once.
You know, so much has already been written about "9/11" that charting any new ground is next to impossible. Of the thousands of lives that were lost that day, so many hundreds of thousands of other lives were impacted that the sheer scope of the tragedy defies comprehension.
"They're (crying) like they knew the man," a character in Oliver Stone's film JFK derisively says of the former President Kennedy's mourners on November 22, 1963.
Well, on Sept. 11, 2001, they did. Practically everybody in America knew somebody who knew somebody who died.
We've read the 9/11 Report and a number of different writings on the subject, but the book that probably does the best job zeroing in on the individual sacrifice of that day is "102 Minutes," a minute-by-minute account of the fight for survival inside the twin towers. Written by veteran New York Times reporters Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn, "102 Minutes" provides one of the most chilling, up-close-and-personal accounts of the tragedy as told by the people who did - and in many cases - didn't survive it.
One story we found particularly riveting was that of Abe Zelmanowitz, an employee with Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield who worked on the 27th floor of the North Tower, the first tower struck on September 11.
Rather than evacuate the building with his colleagues, Zelmanowitz chose instead to stay with his best friend Ed Beyea, a paraplegic confined to a heavy wheelchair - in a building where the elevators were no longer working. Dozens of friends, rescue workers - even Beyea himself - implored Zelmanowitz to leave, but he never left his friend's side.
Both men were killed when the North Tower collapsed at 10:28 a.m.
In two towers, the Pentagon and aboard the four hijacked airplanes, there are countless stories to be found, many of which participants in Project 2,996 will explore in detail.
This is as it should be.
Just as it is vitally important for America to win its war against terrorism, it is equally important that we keep telling each other the stories of September 11.