September 11th, 2016
As I always say on this day~ No one needs to remind me~ of what happened in New York on September 11th, 2001. I was there~ at the Waldorf~ sleeping~ when the first plane hit the first tower. We, 7 of us, had come in from Canada that night~ landed at 2:30 in the morning~ ready to spend my day off in my favorite city. I went to bed at 7:30am... It was a beautiful day~ looking out the windows before I laid down. I was so excited to be there~ I had such hopes for that beautiful day~ and then the world stopped. The world changed. As the day went by you could not see the sun~ we put wet towels around all the windows.
It was as if the world had ended.
I kept a journal all through the four days we were there. As we drove away from New York on Friday at sunset (on a bus) heading towards Atlantic City (show on Saturday had not been canceled) we looked back across the water at the fallen towers and the sad grey city. We drove slowly, taking pictures in our minds~ knowing that nothing ~ NOTHING ~ would ever be the same. And we cried. Silent grey shadowed tears of disbelief~ I think we cried all the way to Atlantic City. I don’t think any words were even spoken, and we prayed that the world would heal and get better.
Our world is dangerous. The warnings are everywhere. People are afraid. I am afraid and I hate being afraid. I want to be strong and fearless. I want anyone who reads this to do everything they can to help this world~
Please God show them the way
Please God ~on this day~
Spirits all~ give them the strength
Peace can come if you fight for it~
I think we’re just in time to save it
Give them the strength
On this day
Show them the way~
These words are from a song you have yet to hear~ about this day...
I am re-posting my journal entries again for you to read~ I wrote them for all of us.
Consider these words as you go through the next sixty days~
Love to All,
This is my journal entry for September 11, 2001. I wanted to share it with you, because I was in New York; because it was the heaviest thing I have ever experienced ~
Sept. 11, 2001
We got into New York via private jet at 2 o’clock this morning, coming into New York from Toronto, Canada. I have been listening to Shawn Colvin’s song, Another Plane Went Down, from her new album, A Whole New You, all the way here while trying to compose a letter to Gladys Knight about Aaliyah, her niece; about my dream. Airports, planes everywhere, music, music, tears in my eyes, Sulamith (my yorkie) was upset all the way from Canada, psychic, dreamlike, flying, flying, flying.
And now, it has happened. Two planes dove into the World Trade Center Towers ~
4 hijackings in 3 hours. The Trade Center is gone, thousands of people are dead. The Pentagon was attacked kamikaze style, and one plane they are pretty sure, was on its way to the White House.
Everyone is pretty sure it was Osama Bin Laden, the evil high tech murderer hiding in Afghanistan...
People are walking across the Brooklyn Bridge trying to get home. I am here at the world famous Waldorf=Astoria, the hotel where the presidents stay ~
I will write as the day unfolds~
I am pretty sure Radio City will cancel; I think their offices were in the Towers...I am so sad for them...
Aircraft warships are on their way to us here in New York and to Washington... I don’t really know what we are going to do now – the airports are completely shut down-
My heart is broken.
8:42 a.m. First Tower
9:04 a.m. 2nd Tower
9:40 a.m. Pentagon
9:59 a.m. South Tower falls 10:28 a.m. North Tower falls (people jump)
11:29 a.m. United flt 99 crashes in rural Pennsylvania
5:20 p.m. #7 Tower collapses
Sept. 12, 2001
4:42 a.m. in the morning
We are a devastated city
I feel I am a part of this city.
We are a strong, brilliant city
We are watching a piece of history
We are living through a tragedy
Like no one – has ever seen...
The fire chief of New York is dead
His assistant fire chief is dead.
One of my champions from Warner Brothers wife is gone. She was coming home from Boston after settling their twin daughters at a University. Their grandmother was with their Mom.
M.H. called from Toronto. He is there with the Backstreet Boys. One of their carpenters went home because his wife was having a baby. He was on one of those planes.
We are a grieving city
A surreal city ~
It is 5:09 a.m. in the morning
We are still a dark city –
But soon it will be dawn – and the dreamlike reality of yesterday will turn into the true reality of what has really happened.
I have seen grown men cry today. They seem to be having the most trouble with this. They are the protectors –
And they feel so helpless ~
They can’t stand it.
It seems that, as Don Henley so brilliantly said ~
“This is the end- of the innocence.”
I sit here at 5:15 in the morning – in shock. The tears just don’t stop. As a writer, I am driven to write what it has been like to be 20 minutes away from the Twin Towers ~
To be here at the world famous, Waldorf=Astoria Hotel, home of foreign diplomats and gathering place of politicians, in a suite where I am quite sure Heads of State have met, and discussed the problems of the world. The living room is all dark wood, ceiling to floor, and you can just imagine John Kennedy sitting at the desk. It is stunning. This hotel is where the presidents have always stayed, and this grand old hotel is in full lockdown. All but two entrances are closed, the driveway through the hotel – shut, all the cars - moved out.
I feel strangely safe here in New York now – and the city still looks awesome from my windows, still sparkly, still beautiful, almost like – from this room-
Nothing ever happened-
The television news people are extraordinary – all of them. They are tired; you can see it in their changing faces, as the day has gone by. Of course, I feel like I know them all, like they are really dear friends, choking up and recovering, just like me, hour after hour...
You can’t go through something like this with a city.
You become attached.
You become “war buddies.”
It is just so deep.
It is 6:10.
It is sunrise
It was a beautiful sunrise. It has turned the white curtains pink, the room pink- I swear.
The sun is one half inch over the city horizon, the sky is peacock blue, sky blue but the city is still glowing pink. If I had been sleeping since Monday and I looked out this window, I would think, “It just looks like a beautiful New York fall day, my favorite thing, let’s shop! It looks just like it did Tuesday morning when I went to bed, just before this all happened.
The view is so beautiful that looking up at it, almost makes you start to feel good, and forget, and then, honestly you feel guilty, and then you feel worse and sick to your stomach. If they can’t sleep, then I’m not going to sleep either... So today is both beautiful and frightening, looking out from 36 floors up, can I tell you how unimaginable it would be if I looked up and saw a big jet flying towards me, in this country?
My question – “How could this happen?”
I am overwhelmed with how extraordinary the firemen and the policemen are. They just don’t give up. They “don’t stop.” They are awesome...and so is Mayor Guiliani. I would ALWAYS want them on my team. They are my heroes.
Well, I think I have to sleep now. In an interview from the street, a man says in tears, “You do not want to see the things I’ve seen today...I am traumatized.” “I am traumatized for life...”
That is the truth...
We are all traumatized.
I’m thirsty –
I’m wild eyed
In my misery.”
God Bless everyone that lost someone ~
And all of those ~ that are gone...
I am so sorry ~
7:06 in the morning
The room is still glowing pink –
Last Thought...September 14, 2001
Please everyone, do not blame people for this just because they are Muslim – or come from some other ethnic group. If you do, you let Osama Bin Laden win – as surely as if you helped him put those planes through those towers. You - become him. He wins.
Consider this carefully...
September 11, 2011
It is four o’7~ 4:07 in the afternoon. It is Sunday. It is the 10th Anniversary of the attack on the great towers of New York City. The twins~ those two awesome skyscrapers who stood above our beautiful city. I say “our” because I became a New Yorker on that day.
I am not watching television, at least not yet. I do not need T.V. to jar my memory. I remember it all, as if it were yesterday. Landing in New York at 2:30 in the morning~ coming in from Canada to spend my one day off in New York. Looking forward to playing Radio City Music Hall~ one of my favorite places to play. Driving into the city from the airport~ excited~ it’s always a romantic drive for me~ like something wonderful could happen~ New York City~ just like I pictured it. Awesome.
And awesome it was. Arriving at the world famous Waldorf=Astoria Hotel. Famous people live there. Political dignitaries live there. Wallace Simpson and the ex-King of England~ lived there for 5 years in the suite with the 3 great arched windows. History oozes from its great walls. When you are there~ you are part of history. We got to our suite at about 4 in the morning~ the very grand~ all dark wood suite~ we unpacked~ the sun was coming up over the city~ the 4 windows in the living room full of pink light~ extraordinary pink~ bathing the brown Bosendorfer in light~ the sun is up~ it is 7:30. I say to the girls~ “Maybe we should just go out now and have breakfast and go shopping~ and sleep later. I was looking out one of the windows at the city that was now full of people and cars and cabs and limousines~ crazy energy~ and we laughed, realizing how tired we were after 2 shows in a row and the flight from Canada...Maybe a little sleep would help~
then we’ll hit the streets. Sulamith Wulfing and I went to bed~ dreaming of going out later~ maybe finding a little diamond something~ and off we went to sleep.
Right after the second plane hit the second tower, Karen woke me. I don’t remember exactly what she said. I just remember jumping up and running to the window where I had stood 3 1⁄2 hours before. Looking down at that same street, no cars, no cabs, and no people. Just empty. Not beautiful~ just frighteningly silent. No way out~ just fear.
Karen was on the phone with my manager Sheryl. She had been on the phone with her when the plane hit the first tower. Because of that~ we had a line out to the world. Sheryl was able to have someone call our parents and my band in Canada and let people know we were all right.
The Waldorf went into lock down. It is the presidents hotel, so lock down is something the do well.
Then we waited. We turned on the big T.V. in the living room and watched ~ and watched~ and watched.
Because we were hooked up to T.V. all over the world~ we saw things that I think most people didn’t see. Spanish T.V.~ people actually jumping. That was momentary~ pulled immediately by the networks. The first newspaper with a horrid image on the front page~ not seen again. We kept the newspaper.
As the hours went by we, like everyone else in the city who wasn’t close to ground zero~we just sat and watched T.V. and cried. I never left the suite. From Tuesday afternoon to Friday night when we drove away to Atlantic City I just sat in front of the T.V. and cried. The sunsets were extra beautiful. All that dust and smoke makes sunsets and sunrises more beautiful. Like smoke on stage makes the lights more beautiful. After that, soon after that actually, I developed an allergy to dust and smoke. I don’t use smoke on my stage anymore. It shuts down my throat~ I can’t sing in it~ and it’s not beautiful.
It’s 4:58p right now~ the devastation I felt that day is starting to creep in. My throat is starting to close up~ and my eyes are starting to fill with tears.
I guess that’s how it will always be. All those people lost. All those families ruined. All those hearts broken. I was 20 minutes away. I did not lose a best friend or a child or a lover. But part of my heart went down with those towers...
And that will never change...