All in one look on the face of the of the Lieutenant from the Fire station around the corner.  I saw this look more than once that morning.

Food bins being emptied of food and filled with water for whatever the needs might be in the coming days.  No one knew what would come next.  We need to be prepared.

Streets in and around fire houses and police stations being closed.

Calling my mother-in-law to check the news just as the second plane flew into the Tower.

Shock on the face of one of the Sisters after she saw one of the planes fly into the tower as she drove down the highway.

The quiet.

The stillness.

The phone calls from people we knew asking if they could come and stay with us if they weren’t able to get home.  Yes, absolutely.  The phone calls from family calling in panic to make sure we were okay.

The Church being opened and people coming in and out all day long, stopping to pray and cry and think and wonder at the horror of this day.  Wondering, what would come next.

One of the guys who lived in the residence we worked in came home way late in the day.  He’d been in the building working when the plane hit; he’d stayed with a friend/security guard as long as he could.  He got out just before the tower came down.
His friend wasn’t so lucky;
he didn’t make it;
he didn’t come home.

We live in the flight path of LaGuardia and the eerie stillness that followed for days after still has an effect.  When the flight path changes and it gets quiet I begin to wonder, even now, did something happen again?

Going to work that morning we had to go a different way for some reason and as we drove onto the upper roadway both of us noticed the color and clarity of the sky, even the usual “pollution” line seemed to be gone.  No clouds in the air.  No wind.  A strange moment.

The plume coming from the Trade Center site, the acrid odor and all it carried with it.

And here we are now seventeen years later waiting for renewal.  Renewal will come.  We wait for a permanent memorial.  The memorial will come.  This will take time.  It takes time to heal, to come to some kind of acceptance of this kind of senselessness.  Will we ever really understand what happened here in NY that day?  Or at the Pentagon?  Or in a field in Shanksville, PA?  Probably not in our generation, maybe not even in the one to come.  As much as I’ve learned in school and in other sources about the Holocaust I still don’t get it.  This makes no sense, the loss of life, the pain and anguish and all the other stuff that goes with it.

God bless!


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