My Memories of 9/11/01

  1. It was a gorgeous day, not a cloud in the sky.
    Summer wasn't finished but everything NYers loathe about summer was gone. Humidity was low, the air was fresh and clean. It didn't smell like fall, which always reminds me of apples and No.2 pencils, but it smelled fresh and clean.
  2. I had just gotten to my office in a building on 7th Avenue and 39th street. In those days, I was a sales executive for a women's designer fashion house.
  3. At a little before 9am, we heard about the first plane hitting the first tower, first on the radio that my he entire office listened to, then on the MSN video feed on our home pages.
  4. A few minutes later, our designer came into our office and said he saw something odd: a plane, a BIG one, flying very low and southbound over the Hudson River.
  5. My Neiman Marcus buyer came into review her spring order.
    Despite the fact that we thought we were under attack by an unknown enemy, she insisted on reviewing dresses, gowns, and the like. I was actually grateful to have her there, once I got my fashion mojo going.
  6. We walked home at around 2:00 in the afternoon, down 7th Avenue, right in the middle of that street,with hordes of others, since the only vehicles allowed to drive were those of the emergency workers.
  7. As we passed St.Vincent's hospital, we paused to look at all the hospital workers standing silently outside the emergency room entrance. Gurneys with sparkling white sheets were lined up next to office chairs draped with sheets waiting to receive the wounded. I stopped and said 'they're not coming, they would have been here by now.'
  8. As we walked, we saw more and more people, covered in ash, shuffling away from Ground Zero. They were exhausted and in shock, and it showed. My street was covered in ash, too.
  9. The next few days, NYers showed what we were made of. We bought supplies that were needed, like bandaids, socks, shovels for the rescue and recovery teams. We volunteered at police stations to keep the officers fed. I baked more banana bread and cake in those weeks than I ever have. To this day,I still can't look at either.
  10. 14 years is a both a blink of the eye and an eternity. Every year I watch the replay of that morning's news coverage, because I never want to forget how I felt when it happened.
  11. Every year I stand in the middle of my block and take a photo of the lights, no matter what.
  12. Never forget.