Global Awareness — 30 September 2011

The untold story how half a million people were rescued from Manhattan island on 9/11

So much has been written and discussed about 9/11, and there are so many theories about what really happened and what did not, yet I don’t think anybody is ever going to hear the truth. There came a point when I was reluctant to read anything more about this catastrophe because it was so frustrating not to be able to get to the bottom of the story, but very recently a friend sent a link to the footage shown below here that made me sit up. This was not about who was to blame, who was involved and whodunit, this was about people and their humanity.

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Narrated by Tom Hanks, the clip shows skippers in the waters surrounding Manhattan who saw the towers burning and froze in shock but also immediately became aware of hundreds and thousands of people who had been running to the water’s edge, trying to get off Manhattan Island but were stuck. All land transportation out of Manhattan had been shut down; roads, tunnels and bridges had been closed immediately after disaster struck.

Seeing on TV that ferries were going into the slips to take people off jolted Vincent Ardolino, Captain of the ‘Amberjack V’, into action. He was one of those who courageously and spontaneously decided to help, “I have to do what I have to do…even if I can save one person, that’s one person less to suffer and die.”

After a radio call by the US coast guard to all available boats in the vicinity to come and help, within twenty minutes the waters were churning with hundreds of boats of any kind coming in.

As Engineer Robin Jones recalled about the boats, “If it floated and it could get there it got there…the thing that was the best – everyone helped everyone.”

All the ferries, tow boats, private boats, party boats combined, were part of the largest sea evacuation in history, larger even than the one in Dunkirk during WW 2. Half a million people were brought to safety by these daring men who were catapulted into sharp alertness and wakefulness. And as Vincent Ardolino concludes, “Never go through life saying, you should have. If you want to do something – you do it!”

It is only in certain moments, moments of great danger, that we really come into alertness. When the danger is so much that it will not do to go about lacking awareness, we awaken. For instance, if a man puts a knife at your chest you jump into consciousness. The point of the knife for a moment takes you right up to the fifth body. With the exception of these few moments in our lives we live like somnambulists.”

Osho, In Search of the Miraculous, Vol. 2, Ch 4, Q 1

Bhagawati for Osho News

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