I will never forget that day. First, my best friend works and lives in NYC and had worked near the Trade Center. Her quick email that morning said in part, "Jill, I am ok...I am not in downtown area. I am hoping midtown is not next. I can't find my sister or husband. I hope they were not traveling. In case something happens, it has been really wonderful getting to know you again. You are a great person and have helped me [immensely]....cease the day!!! I WILL speak to you soon!!!! " Thankfully, her family was okay, although she did know some people who died that day. My email back also had a sense of saying good-bye. Part of it said, "You are a very special person. Truly my best friend...and I hope you will be that for many years." Yup, it was a day for saying the things that mattered.
Second, I didn't own a TV then, so had to rely on the radio and Internet for the news. It wasn't, however, until I saw some of the images on TV later in the day, that I understood what they meant when newscasters said that the Towers had fallen. Fallen? Wasn't that impossible? No, it wasn't.
Third, I taught a class at Syracuse University that afternoon, where I had to use all my humanity and compassion in order to address the situation and tell them about resources, etc. Class didn't last very long.
Today I'm flying to Washington, D.C. for a conference tomorrow. Because of that, 9-11 is on my mind more. Today will not be normal, although I wish it were. Sadly, for tens of thousands, today will never be normal, no matter how many years pass.
On New Year's Eve 2001, I visited Ground Zero and some other places around NYC. At the time, I didn't feel right taking photos of memorials. Two years later, I did photograph two memorials. The photos below were taken in 2003 near/at St. Vincent's Hospital on 7th Avenue. Many of the injured were taken to this hospital in 2001. The tiles were done by artists from all ages and backgrounds from across the U.S. When I was in NYC last fall, the tiles were still there. It was one of many impromptu memorials and one that has lasted. The very last photo is of a memorial that was on a wall at St. Vincent's. I do not know if it is still there.
You can click on the photos in order to view a longer image.
9/13/2008: The flight on Sept. 11 went well, although we took an odd landing approach coming into National Airport. I always like flying into D.C. because of all you can see from the air. It is a great view of Washington!
BTW Today I corrected grammar and typos in this blog post, and added Technorati tags. I guess I wrote it too quickly on Thursday.
Technorati tag: Ground Zero, 911, New York City, World Trade Center