Another anniversary of that awful day, it seems just like yesterday and, I’m sure for the families who lost loved ones that day, every day seems just like yesterday. In just a few seconds and the span of a few horrific hours their lives changed forever, the city changed, our country, our world changed.
Everyone wants to tell their stories. Some of course are just heart-wrenching. Others are significant to those who experienced them. Collectively, they tell a bigger story of sadness, grief, heartache and emotions that don’t have words for them, emotions so raw and new, there is no place to compartmentalize them.
As a New Yorker, I too have a story to tell. I think since my blog is all about loving NYC, it is a safe place to share a love story for this great city and a gesture of love to those who are hurting.
After dropping off my son at school, I got on the train that morning for work in Manhattan. A happy, busy, beautiful morning.
I changed trains at Jamaica Station in Queens for the train to Penn Station. As the train approached Woodside Station, the stop right before Penn in NYC, the other commuters and I looked out the window and there they were, the burning towers. You can imagine the questions, the fear, the panic. A bunch of us jumped out at Woodside, after hearing someone mumble “they think it might be terrorism.” Of course this was before Twitter and other quick, live news sources, and the cell phones were out so we really didn’t know what exactly was going on. But, we could see it. Fighter jets flying overhead, the towers burning two or three miles away. And all I could think of was getting to my son’s school.
This is not where my story ends, of course. But this is where I choose to stop telling it. Except to say that it was the following days, 9/13, 9/14, 9/15 and the many months, and even years, following the attacks that gripped me with fear. My train would often have officers with machine guns escorting it into NYC, which was often on high alert, Penn Station particularly. I hated leaving my son behind each morning to go to work in the city.
And, oh, I wonder if the NY Yankees knew how much they helped young kids get through that fall. When the games had stopped being played immediately following 9/11, baseball was so missed. And those first few games back, wow, how healing was that!
Be strong New York City and New Yorkers. And God Bless those families and friends who lost loved ones. New York City hearts you. Forever. We will never forget and, more importantly, we will always remember.