What can you say about this day?
A Day to Remember
I remember my wife (at the time) calling from work in a panic telling me not to go outside. She had a high floor office on 42nd street looking south.
We didn’t know what was going on yet. I turned on the television (had one in those days) and when the newscasters started freaking out about a 2nd explosion, we realized we were under attack. I called her back telling her to avoid major public buildings on her walk home because I thought there would be more to come. Having death fall upon you from the sky is a bad feeling you will never forget.
The City went silent except for sirens heading South. I cancelled my meetings and waited. My wife watched the towers go down live from 42nd street. I watched on television.
When she got home around noon, we went outside together. A man crossed the sidewalk in front of us. He walked with a quiet determination so we let him pass. His entire back side was painted a chalky white with dust.
We still didn’t understand what happened. There was a huge smoke cloud billowing up from downtown and blowing over Brooklyn. People were standing around storefronts with TVs on.
We could only walk as far South as I think it was Canal St. People were being incredibly nice to each other. Eight million people from everywhere, from every race, religion and good or bad idea, had suddenly and tragically become 1.
A Day to Forgive
In the spirit of the day, I invite all citizens of the world to be New Yorkers, and all New Yorkers to be citizens of the world.
Violence doesn’t care where you, your parents or grandparents are from, or how you live your life. Neither does revenge. Looking back I can’t figure out who won this exchange (Two Towers vs Afghanistan-Iraq). I don’t think anyone did. It raised the darkness in our souls and now we all have to live with that. As usual the people who suffered the most had nothing to do with it.
I hope and pray that this doesn’t happen again to us or anyone else. May New York City be an inspiration to the world, a place of tolerance, inclusion, shared hopes and shared dreams. May 911 be a day not only of remembrance, but also of forgiveness and charity.
May the universal spirit (however you see it) bless us all.
New York Latin Culture