A note by Frank Messina:
On September 11, 2001, I witnessed the cruel, mass murder of thousands of people. Like many of you, I knew some whom perished in the attacks and even more who miraculously escaped unscathed, thanks to the heroic efforts of the rescue workers immediately responding to the scene.
I worked as a civilian volunteer at the Jersey City waterfront (Exchange Place) where a mass casualty unit was set up to receive, treat and transport a wrongfully anticipated several thousand survivors. What I once knew as a riverside park with a beautiful view of lower Manhattan was now littered with military personnel, fire, police and rescue teams and the screams of F-16 fighter jets and transport helicopters overhead.
I showed up with some work gloves and a mask and suddenly I found myself on the front lines of the largest domestic rescue effort to take place in the history of America.
My job was unloading tractor trailers with assorted medical and construction supplies to be ferried across the river to ground zero. The triage also served as a refuge for hundreds of weary rescue workers who were transported there by ferry to get rest and eat after working twelve, eighteen and even twenty-four hours at a time.
In between shifts, I'd lay down my gloves and write the words that I now refer to as the "American't Get Home" poems. At the links below you'll find a few selections that I'd like to share at this time. The poems listed have been published in my book, Disorderly Conduct. I hope you enjoy the work. Anyhow, much love and gratitude to you all, and never ever forget those we lost that day. We shall overcome.
American't Get Home
Look Me In the Eyes
You Will Not Break Me
these pictures were taken blocks from my apartment. Never Forget.
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