Every year on this day, my mind drifts back to this post. I have to go read it every year. I guess it is because I can somewhat relate to Deb’s story……even though I am not a New Yorker. I find her words eloquent and heart-felt.
Like her, I did not know anyone personally in the towers, planes or government buildings, but my heart was still broken. I was at work and sat quietly hoping that people could exit the building safely and that not too many people would be hurt. I remember being amazed at how quiet the phones were at work, because the world was staring at the television with me.
I had to fly to Manhattan about a month after. There were only ten people on the airplane, including the two pilots and the stewardess……everyone was still afraid to fly. Unlike planes that I had been on in the past where people were quiet, everyone on the plane talked and shared their story.
Even though I was traveling for business, I had a few moments to sneak in some sightseeing. NYC was always on my list of places to see, even if it was a bittersweet trip. Scotch Tape and Matchbox Cars, who lived in New Jersey at the time, took me on a mini-trip of the city. Although I enjoyed my time, you could feel sadness hanging in the air. She told me that I needed to come back to the city when things were back to normal……..that I wasn’t getting to see the real New York. In the back of my mind, I wondered if things would ever be normal again.
The closest that I got to Ground Zero was at South Street Seaport. I remember the distinct smell in the air. Not far away was a car still covered in dust and there was a store window that had been sealed off as a time capsule…..filled with dust and paperwork. It broke my heart that the owner was not able to come back for that car. That image is seared into my head more than the towers themselves.
I guess, like Deb said, that somewhere along the way I stopped thinking about it. I was tired of feeling sad. But every year on this day, I still get a lump in my throat. I still see that dust covered car.
I still hurt. I guess that I always will.
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