I was in New York City.
That evening, I wrote e-mails to my friends and family, mostly in Texas, and I learned later that these e-mails had been read to schoolchildren in Houston, printed-out and posted on bulletin boards at West Point, and published in newspapers in various locations, I lost track of exactly where.
If they are remarkable, it is because it was my little experience as a regular New Yorker on that day, not someone at ground zero, not someone involved in the tragedy or the rescue, not someone who knew they had lost a loved one (later I discovered I knew two who died there), I was just a regular guy living with what happened in my City.
I wrote one e-mail a night for four days.
September 11, 2001
September 12, 2001
September 13, 2001
September 14, 2001
This year is the first anniversary during which I work in lower Manhattan. I normally walk past Ground Zero on the way to work, I couldn't this morning because they have the perimeter blocked-off for the observance. There are fire trucks, police cars, garbage trucks, and ambulances parked everywhere on the streets, and there are firemen, police officers, sanitation workers, and EMT personnel all walking around looking somber.
It really brings it all back for me.
I am wearing a copper bracelet engraved with "FF Francis Esposito, FDNY Ladder 79" today, as I do every year on this day. I didn't know him or his family, it was a random choice from those available in the months after the attacks. I wear it in solidarity with everyone's loss.
Thanks for reading. Be well.