I saw the movie Flight 93 yesterday. I didn’t want to see it, but since I had done the red carpet makeup for Jody McClintock – one of the stars of the movie – I went. I am glad I did; and I recommend it to everyone.
I will never forget that clear sunny day that was September 11. The year 2001 was not a good year – my boyfriend was diagnosed with a fatal cancer and I was misdiagnosed with an illness that turned out to be nothing – gotta love those quack doctors! Needless to say, I walked around much of the year in a fog.
On September 11, the ringing phone awakened me – it was my boyfriend calling from Israel. I remember looking out the window and seeing the beautiful blue sky. Too lazy to reach for the phone, I heard him pleading over the answering machine about my whereabouts. I thought it was strange that he called so early – I tried calling back, but the phones were dead.
I heard people in my hallway screaming that we were under attack. I turned on the television to find the World Trade Centers burning. I live on 12th street in the east village – just 2 miles from the towers. I ran outside and I could see the smoking buildings. My cell phone rang and it was my agent. I had totally forgotten that I had an afternoon shoot. He asked if I was up to going - he had received word that the rest of the crew would be showing up.
Yes, even with the world at war, fashion comes first.
I didn’t know what to do - sit home and drive myself crazy or go to work. I decided to go to the shoot. With my makeup in a backpack, I rode my bike the mile or so to the studio. The streets were devoid of cars and strangely quiet. The only movement were the people covered in white dust making their way uptown.
I don’t remember much of the shoot because everyone was glued to the television. Afterwards, I rode my bike down the west side highway towards the cloud of smoke. As I turned onto Houston Street I came upon a scene that will never leave my memory. The television cameras were set up and behind them were hundreds of people carrying pictures of their loved ones – each trying to get their images on the cameras. No news had come out yet, but everyone knew that the emergency rooms were empty – no survivors.
The camaraderie on the streets was overwhelming, and even though I didn’t know anyone who died, I felt I knew each one of the victims. Over the next few days every business, church and storefront were flying American flags – every building except the mosque around my corner. I can’t tell you how many times my boyfriend would walk by it and mutter…”I wonder what those motherfuckers are in there planning.” I would smile politely and pooh pooh him….I guess he was right after all.
Later in the week, a friend and I walked to what was left of the World Trade Center. Standing amidst the twisted pieces of steel and concrete, I felt an eerie sense of dead souls surrounding me. And the smell - the workers were spraying formaldehyde onto the burning pile to preserve the bodies. It all seemed so unreal.
As I watched the movie with tears in my eyes, my 9/11 memories came flooding back to me. I can only imagine what those poor souls felt on those planes, but they should never be forgotten.
The most ironic scene in the movie is hearing the Arabs praying to Allah and the passengers praying to Jesus.
See the movie.