Looking Back in Horror at 9/11

The horrible date has come again, the 16th  anniversary of the cowardly attacks on the World Trade Center by a handful of hate-filled religious maniacs.

I am once again reprinting my blog of remembrances of the sickening and inspiring –events of that day, as someone who was trapped in midtown Manhattan at the time. We must never forget…

I was awakened by an airplane early on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. No, it wasn’t one of those jets; it was just a passing low-flying plane, the kind that zoom toward Westchester County Airport all the time. It was before my alarm was supposed to sound, so I tried to get another 15 minutes of sleep. When I did finally get up and venture outside to drive to the train station, I distinctly remember marveling at what a beautiful day it was: The sky was clear and such an amazing deep blue that I actually noticed it. The temperature was comfortable, with a light breeze, and I was sorry that I would have to spend such a gorgeous late-summer day in an office in Manhattan. I actually thought it was one of the most beautiful days of the year. How wrong I was…

The train I used to take arrived at Grand Central Terminal every morning at 8:35. With time before my shift started at Soap Opera Weekly magazine, I strolled through GCT, browsing the magazine racks or somesuch. Around 8:55, I realized I had lollygagged a little too long, and I had to get to the office. When I stepped out onto 42nd Street, I saw a gaggle of police officers – both street patrolmen and bicycle cops wearing shorts. They were talking animatedly. Suddenly a van pulled up and several of the bicycle cops clambered in the van. I remember the van pulling away while one guy was still trying to jump in. The uniformed patrolmen jumped into cars, and all the vehicles took off, lights flashing and sirens wailing. I had paused to watch all this action and wondered what was up. Over the ensuing decade, I have often wondered how many of those brave officers I saw rushing to help survived that day.
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I Remember Sept. 11, 2001

Today marks the 15th anniversary of the cowardly attacks on the World Trade Center by a handful of hate-filled religious maniacs.

I am once again reprinting my blog of remembrances of the sickening — and inspiring — events of that day, as someone who was in midtown Manhattan at the time.

I was awakened by an airplane early on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. No, it wasn’t one of those jets; it was just a passing low-flying plane, the kind that zoom toward Westchester County Airport all the time. It was before my alarm was supposed to sound, so I tried to get another 15 minutes of sleep. When I did finally get up and venture outside to drive to the train station, I distinctly remember marveling at what a beautiful day it was: The sky was clear and such an amazing deep blue that I actually noticed it. The temperature was comfortable, with a light breeze, and I was sorry that I would have to spend such a gorgeous late-summer day in an office in Manhattan. I actually thought it was one of the most beautiful days of the year. How wrong I was…
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The Thing About 9/11

My sister Michele asked me this morning what the mood was in New York City on the anniversary of the terror attacks. I’m sure she wasn’t expecting the rant I texted her, stream-of-consciousness style. But I realized it was a pretty good summary of how I feel about 9/11 so many years on, and I figured it was time to update my original Sept. 11 post, so I decided to share (and amplify) my thoughts…

The city typically feels sad on this date, but it’s not an ominous thing. There’s a real sense of community on the surface that is usually only a subtext among the denizens of NYC. There is a sense of community loss. It’s usually much quieter on the streets — though nothing like the eerie silence that dominated on the afternoon of 9/11/01

The hustle of Grand Central Terminal is much more hushed, even among the throngs of tourists, who somehow seem to perceive the public mood. There’s a genuine pall over the entire island of Manhattan, and an almost palpable longing. It’s hard to articulate, but it’s a longing for what the world was like before the World Trade Center towers fell.
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