I know that today is supposed to be wordless Wednesday, but please indulge me in my words that accompany this picture I found online that shows the forever changed skyline of Manhattan.
The moments of this day are forever etched in my heart and my head. I vividly remember the walk to work on such a beautiful, cloudless, blue sky morning in Manhattan. I still remember what I was wearing and how I thought the guy who was talking on his phone was joking when I overheard him saying that some plane crashed into the towers. Then it was the race upstairs to my cubicle and a lot of confusion followed by a bit of a panic call to try to reach my brother. After that, it was a flood of phone calls and attempted phone calls from friends and family. We were all trying to check in to make sure everyone we knew was okay. Many of them were okay, but some of our friends were not.
My brother and I met up for dinner (he lived just a few blocks from me) and we huddled in his tiny room for a bit in disbelief of what was going on. I didn’t have a television at the time so I listened to my radio, but after a while, I just had to shut it off. Much of the images that I saw were those that I saw nearly a year later because I could not bring myself to see the horror – the sounds of that day are still echoing in my ears. I could not make myself go down to the towers and I tried my best to avoid all the missing posters that were up in Penn Station. It was too heartbreaking and I just couldn’t handle it. Several years later, I watched a movie called World Trade Center at the theater. (I don’t know why I went to see this – it was such a terrible idea.) I sobbed my heart out and almost walked out of the theater. Since then, I have tried to avoid stuff like that.
Months after 9/11, I was looking for a therapist to talk to, but all the therapists of Manhattan were booked up til next year, understandably. Living in Manhattan was a weird time in my life in so many ways and after 9/11, I remained in this strange shell-shocked state. There are moments where I still feel that way today. 9/11 changed my life and it changed the life of my beloved Manhattan.
I still miss the city so much and there are times where I long to live there again in an attempt to make a different type of memory. I am still deeply saddened and I think of those who died that day quite often.
My heart deeply aches this day and remembers those who sacrificed. My hope and prayer is that my daughter will grow up in a world where these kinds of tragedies will stop happening.
I will never forget.