Looking Back in Horror at 9/11

The horrible date has come again, the 16th  anniversary of the cowardly attacks on the World Trade Center by a handful of hate-filled religious maniacs.

I am once again reprinting my blog of remembrances of the sickening and inspiring –events of that day, as someone who was trapped in midtown Manhattan at the time. We must never forget…

I was awakened by an airplane early on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. No, it wasn’t one of those jets; it was just a passing low-flying plane, the kind that zoom toward Westchester County Airport all the time. It was before my alarm was supposed to sound, so I tried to get another 15 minutes of sleep. When I did finally get up and venture outside to drive to the train station, I distinctly remember marveling at what a beautiful day it was: The sky was clear and such an amazing deep blue that I actually noticed it. The temperature was comfortable, with a light breeze, and I was sorry that I would have to spend such a gorgeous late-summer day in an office in Manhattan. I actually thought it was one of the most beautiful days of the year. How wrong I was…

The train I used to take arrived at Grand Central Terminal every morning at 8:35. With time before my shift started at Soap Opera Weekly magazine, I strolled through GCT, browsing the magazine racks or somesuch. Around 8:55, I realized I had lollygagged a little too long, and I had to get to the office. When I stepped out onto 42nd Street, I saw a gaggle of police officers – both street patrolmen and bicycle cops wearing shorts. They were talking animatedly. Suddenly a van pulled up and several of the bicycle cops clambered in the van. I remember the van pulling away while one guy was still trying to jump in. The uniformed patrolmen jumped into cars, and all the vehicles took off, lights flashing and sirens wailing. I had paused to watch all this action and wondered what was up. Over the ensuing decade, I have often wondered how many of those brave officers I saw rushing to help survived that day.
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‘Star Wars XIII’: Supreme Leader Snoke is Ready for His Close-up

As the release of Star Wars: Episode XIII — The Last Jedi draws closer, more and more information is leaking out, and the latest “reveal” relates to the appearance of Supreme Leader Snoke, the shadowy power behind the villainous First Order: He looks exactly like we figured he would.

An official trading card from Topps gives the first clear view of the Big Bad, seen in 2015’s The Force Awakens only as a bluish hologram. We can see that he has a giant scar on his head and a rather thin and drawn face. We don’t know if this is his species’ natural appearance or whether his face has been distorted by the Dark Side of the Force, as with Emperor Palpatine in the earlier films.

However, while his face has been drawn out of the shadows, Snoke himself will remain behind the scenes for one more movie. (This is only the middle part of a trilogy, remember.)  Director Rian Johnson told Empire magazine that Kylo Ren is main villain of Episode XIII and Snoke will remain a mystery for a while longer.
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