Saturday, September 12, 2009
Yesterday was the 8th anniversary of 9/11.
I haven't written a lot about 9/11...on purpose.
When 9/11 happened I wasn't living here yet. I didn't feel and still don't feel that I could write about it as a New Yorker. I was living in Atlanta and sitting at my desk when it happened. I remember not believing it when I first heard the news. I thought it was a small plane, a confused pilot. I didn't comprehend that it was an attack...that it would reduce the World Trade Center to piles of rubble.
I had just been here in NYC on vacation. I had flown back to Atlanta on Sunday evening, having been here to see Heather Headley in the musical Aida before her final performance. So much changed between that long weekend in the city and that Tuesday morning.
Now...8 years later...I live here. Since living here I've only been to Ground Zero once...and even then I could not stay. When my parents were here a year ago they had mentioned going down to the where the towers once stood.
We walked into St. Paul's. The small church is within a block from Ground Zero, yet not a single window was broken with the collapse of the towers. The church houses a collection and memorial to those who gave their lives trying to save whoever they could.
The atmosphere was somber and I could feel tremendous heartache and loss around me. I looked at the pews and saw they were scuffed and scratched from where firefighters had stretched out, still in their gear, making an attempt to rest before return to the search.
As I absorbed what I could around me...I became overwhelmed and knew that would be able to accompany my parents to the actual site. The place...these few blocks here in Manhattan...resonated with me.
I am a New Yorker.