Goodbye, Pat

Ground Zero: The Untold Stories

(Originally printed December 23, 2001)
I really don’t talk about September 11th much.

I remember the grueling 12-hour day I put in checking the latest AP wires and keeping live coverage on the website, amid rumors that NY and NJ may have no way of communicating with the outside world… way before some of the events even made it on TV. Walking into work that morning, never suspecting for a second that this would lead to the devastation and unspeakable horror that we’ve all stared in a state of shock over the past few months.
I can’t think about it.
I won’t think about it.

I did a pretty damn good job at avoiding it, until this morning.

Joe Flounders lived only a few miles from me. His wife Pat begged him to flee his World Trade Center office after the first plane the other tower… He stayed behind to help a co-worker, suffering shock; trying to get him out also…

Moments later, the second plane crashed and exploded right through his office…

… New Yorkers were breathing in his bone fragments for weeks.

Joe Flounders seen here with his wife Pat. FloundersI believe with all of my heart that State Rep. Kelly Lewis is going to be our President someday. He’s a fast thinker, he takes action immediately… and he has a heart of gold. He worked tirelessly with the victim’s families here… even did their grocery shopping.

He took special care of Patricia Flounders. She was devastated. Her entire world was gone. He did everything in his power to help her, ride through this insanity.

Pat committed suicide December 10th, 2001.… she shot herself to end the pain, and find a closure she’ll never find in this world.

There was a memorial service for her yesterday, here in East Stroudsburg. Front page news.

It’s only one of millions of stories… but it was one that I followed from the beginning. I never met the Flounders, but I was secretly rooting for her… hoping she’d beat the odds and the despair. Today hit me so goddamned hard that I was actually forced to think about that day again.

You’re at peace with Joe now, Pat.
God bless.

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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9 thoughts on “Goodbye, Pat

  1. My brother in law teaches in a catholic school in Brooklyn… he was outside with the kids when the towers went down… he felt the ground shake over there. People talk… conversations stopped when they hear a jet overhead… really spooky.

    But I don’t think it matters where you are in the country… it was unthinkable that this can happen in the U.S., and that’s gonna screw us all up for a long time.

  2. My husband covered the news that day at "Ground Zero"…he still can’t really talk about it….

  3. And it just continues to spread like ripples – every time I think we’ve almost forgotten it, it hits us again… unless you have the wreckage staring you in the face or an empty chair at the table.

    Everyone go hug someone near you.
    (Hey, like I *ever* have any real sage advice?)

  4. I’ve been crying on and off all week again. I don’t know why, I was so good for a while. Not really looking forward to New Years eve this year. I suspect it will be another bawl fest.

    I wish I knew when it would all end.

  5. The ripples were felt even in a music club I’m in; one of our most active members was a retired investment banker who lost God knows how many friends that day. He has not participated since.
    To me, it’s a little like "Heart of Darkness"; "The horror, oh,the horror."

  6. Well, it’s that time of year for most people to look back at the year that was. And this was just a horrible year… for everyone and everything. That would explain a lot of our emotional surges…
    Things wind down… and you start to reflect.

  7. Tonite at the first star supper we shall set a place for all those fighting for us in Afghanistan…………right next to the regular place for Baby Jesus…….I’m sure with Baby Jesus will be all of those who lost their lives that fateful day…….(Baby Jesus read " who every ‘they’ believed in…….

  8. reminding me again that although i was deeply affected by the events of 9-11, i still have no clue how devastating it was to those up closer.

    just awful. just… awful.

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