I Will Never Forget

I took this photo of the World Trade Center site while visiting New York City with my mom a couple months ago.

As I stood in the 90+ degree weather, sweating and staring at the skyscraper that was rising where the towers stood, I lost myself in the memory of what I saw on 9/11/01, from my place in a newsroom that day (I was a reporter at a daily newspaper at the time), and later at home, in front of my television. As I stood, thinking horribly of what it must have been like to be above where the planes crashed into the towers, or to be a passerby on the streets when the towers came down, I heard car engines and horns of the taxis and cars passing by. I heard people speaking in English, and other languages, pointing and staring at the same area I was. There was a man shoving some kind of map or book at my mom and I, telling us it only cost $5 but it would explain everything at the WTC site.

His sales pitch brought me back, and I looked around, at what 9/11 has brought us to today. I didn’t know what to make of the man peddling his $5 book – was he capitalizing off of tragedy? I don’t know his back story and I can’t judge him for it. Maybe he lost something, or someone, on 9/11.

I saw the long lines of curious people waiting to tour Ground Zero and I felt on the peripheral. My mom and I decided not to tour the site or go any further. We walked somewhere to hail a cab and soon we were caught up complaining that the cab driver didn’t have the air conditioning on high enough as we went to our next destination. First world problems.

I can never think of 9/11 and not think of the people who suffered loss that day. I can’t think of 9/11 without thinking of how shocked the entire nation was. I see so clearly in my mind how suddenly, everyone had American flags everywhere. There were candlelight vigils and much like a close-knit family, people of all backgrounds were one in their protective, affectionate feeling of America, standing together to not let the terrorists win by breaking us.

Do you think we are all united like that today, 11 years later? I wish I could say yes, but I don’t feel that comraderie anymore, and it’s a bit sad.

Anyway. I haven’t really written about 9/11 on my blog since 2009. At that time, I posted pictures of a column I wrote for the newspaper I worked for, the Burlington County Times. I’m having some image issues with pics from before I moved my blog to my own domain, so I wanted to repost them. It was published in the BCT on September 17, 2001, and is titled, “As the day wore on, numbness wore off.” It’s more about what it was like to be a reporter during 9/11, but I’ve also been reminiscing a lot about my days as a reporter, and the dreams I used to have about being a reporter (I always thought I’d “grow up” and work for the New York Times or Washington Post…Ah, the dreams of a young J-school student) so it’s very sentimental for me to look at right now. Here you go:

Thanks, if you stuck with me today, despite the lack of beauty on this beauty blog!

Today I’m planning to go out of my way at every turn, and to find ways to conduct random acts of kindness. Have you thought about 9/11? Do you plan to do anything in memory?