I have to pause the fun and frolics for a moment and write something about that day. Even though my life is so different now, it’s still hard to believe that 10 years have passed since September 11.
I was living in New Jersey at that time and doing graduate studies at NYU. On that morning, there was no class so I was actually just waking up when I got a call from my sister urging me to switch on the news.
Like millions around the globe, I sat in shock watching a replay of the first Tower being hit. Then a plane struck the second Tower and it felt like the world was coming to an end.
Then came the nightmare of jammed phone lines – my mother and brother overseas desperately trying to reach us. Nobody could get through to my cousin who worked in the building right next to the Twin Towers, apparently the next one to crumble (turned out that building was wrongly identified and stayed standing).
Thankfully my cousin made it through, along with several relatives and friends near the scene. Later she described the horror of people leaping out of the burning towers right before her eyes. The long ash-covered walk back home across Brooklyn bridge.
I remember the dense cloud that hung over lower Manhattan for weeks after. That smell you couldn’t describe and couldn’t escape. Walls and street signs and lamp posts papered with photographs of lost ones. Have you seen my brother, my father, my daughter? Are any of you still alive?
It was truly devastating. And yet I feel privileged to have been in New York during that period and to have experienced that bold, beautiful city pulling itself back together from ground zero up.
While the big guns made angry talk of war and retaliation, real people were coming together in the spirit of kindness, faith and looking forward to a better world for all of us.
I hug my babies and my heart goes out to those bereaved on 9-11. Today let us celebrate love and life as we remember the innocent souls that passed on.