Each morning I get an update from Pat Kiernan and the oh-so-adorable Bobby Cuza on NY1 as they provide a progress report of the construction. Upon meeting someone new, the question of how long I've lived here always comes up. My response, "September 2001," never fails to bring on the questions of whether I considered leaving after the attacks. When kayaking on the beautiful East River, seeing the hole in the skyline is a constant reminder. Tourists ask how to get to Ground Zero (tourists always ask me for directions - less since I'm not a blond anymore... funny). Reading "World Trade Center" lit up as the final stop on E train will always spark a memory of the first time I took it downtown in 2001 when Gina Garner came for a visit. I was not prepared for what I would see -- smoke still emanating, streets blocked off, and most vividly burned into my brain, an office desk atop the heap of debris. The desk that someone sat at. A desk similar to my own at work.
This year there seems to be an eerie quiet sitting top of the usually bustling city. It's a bit deserted. We've been issued warnings about terror threats which has kept a lot of people in the outer boros or pushed them out of the city altogether. I, however, will be spending money tomorrow (ya know, boosting the economy). I'll go for a run in the morning and view the skyline as I know it in 2011. Then I'm heading in have brunch with a friend and see "Book of Mormon". After that I'll hang with more people who make me smile. I plan on laughing. A lot.
While I appreciate all the American flags, moments of silence, and send-ups to NYC, DC, and PA on Facebook, I still hate that "Never Forget" slogan. A slogan for something dreadful that I lived through. New Yorker magazine has a special tribute this week to 9/11. I've tried to read some of it, but it's just too difficult. I was fortunate enough to not actually know anyone in the towers, but the vivid pictures and stories brings back the intense melancholy that I felt in the days, weeks, and months following that day. Never forget? How in the world could I?
My skyline before and after 9/11/2001
*After Osama bin Laden was captured, I wrote a recap of my personal 9/11/2001. You can find it HERE if you really need yet another recap of that day.