Saturday, September 11, 2010

Not Forgotten

Another September 11th anniversary has come and gone and my thoughts are with the families who lost someone nine years ago. I remember that it was a pristine morning, and I was on my way to work. Across the river in Brooklyn, I could see a giant plume of smoke from the bus and thought it was merely an office fire out of control- another typical day in New York.

When I got to West 14th Street, I immediately sensed something was very wrong. Emergency vehicles were speeding downtown the wrong way on a one-way street. Everyone was standing outside looking up at the sky. Throughout the morning, I was glued to the television with colleagues and we watched in horror and disbelief as the Towers fell one after the other. We later ran outside to peer down the Westside Highway to see for ourselves.

I couldn't wait to get home and feel safe and invisible within the confines of my Brooklyn apartment. The short subway ride back to the outer boroughs was interminable. People appeared to be stunned and confused. They were both timid and polite; two words that would otherwise never describe commuters underground. We were all milling around aimlessly, suspended in time waiting for whatever might happen next. Battling my own confusion, I volunteered on the overnight shift at Nino's, a local family restaurant that generously closed its business to the public and served only rescue workers for months; anything to feel useful and connected. It helped for a little while but my relief was only temporary.

I remember that day in September as if it were yesterday. What do you remember?

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