"I remember like it was yesterday. It was the most gorgeous New York day. The sky was so incredibly blue. Today is actually eerily similar.
I remember that as I got off the subway at Columbus Circle, there was an announcement of no service south of Houston due to a police investigation.Nothing has changed, four years later ... 11 years after that horrendous day.
I remember the uncertainty in our administrative assistant's voice as his father, working at One Police Plaza, abruptly ended their phone conversation with the news of the second plane.
I remember sitting at my desk in the office completely numb as we heard of the towers falling.
I remember calling every friend and colleague that I knew worked in or near the World Trade Center.
I remember going out to get a sandwich and Seventh Avenue being completely silent ... then the sound of a plane overhead, low and loud, and the quick moment of fear that flashed across people's eyes.
I remember the collective sigh of relief as we saw it was one of "ours" ... they had started military fly-overs.
I remember my boss wouldn't let us go home. I now realize that was probably the best thing he could have done. At least we were all together.
I remember opening the door to our office and seeing our administrative assistant's father in his uniform, covered head to toe in soot, standing at the door ... a look of exhaustion and profound sadness in his eyes.
I remember sitting on the subway going home and the incredible sense of connection between this random group of strangers.
I remember the funerals.
There are many more details from that day that I still remember -- like finally falling asleep on the sofa still on the phone with my boyfriend who couldn't get into Manhattan from his place in Brooklyn, the TV still on with images running over and over and over again.
I still remember all the frantic phone calls trying to get/give information. And, worst of all, I remember as the names started coming in - a friend from my old firm, our concertmaster's father, a board member, our admin's uncle, and more colleagues from Cantor Fitzgerald, Marsh & McLennan and Sandler O'Neill than I could fathom.
I try (quite unsuccessfully) not to get pissy when I see all the "Never Forget" stuff in the media. For anyone who lived through it, that little statement somehow seems ridiculous.
For several years, I would pass the WTC site nearly everyday on my way to the office. I would watch the construction within that huge hole in the ground ... it seemed to perfectly reflect what was happening in our hearts ... slowly, methodically trying to sift through the pieces and rebuild.
I don't know about others, but I still have a long way to go.