Today is 9-11-06, which makes today the 5th anniversary of THE 9-11.
I lived in New York City when The Towers Fell.
This country, and especially this city, has spent the last five years trying to figure out who owns this tragedy, who should have the most say. Trying to figure out how to mourn the loss of all those people, all that freedom, all that safety.
I don't know the answer to any of the above questions. All I know is that I will never forget that morning. I'm not talking about the images that we've all seen in the news. I'm talking about I will never forget that I was getting ready to go to work. I was a little late...per usual. I remember listening to "Morning Edition" on WNYC and I remember Andrea Bernstein telling me that there was a fire in one of the towers of the World Trade Center. I remember my roommate and I sitting in the living room...me in work clothes, she in pajamas...watching the horror unfold. I remember my roommate and I trying to contact all the theatre people we knew who were temping down there. I remember trying to contact my friend because his wife worked on the 10th floor of one of the towers. I remember the phones not working. I remember walking to the hospital because no one could...or wanted to...use the subway. I remember standing in line for hours to give blood. I remember being shocked that I could smell burning all the way in Harlem. I remember seeing pieces of burnt...paper...building...clothing? floating through the air. I remember all those "Missing" signs...there were so many signs.
The term "9-11" is mentioned every day in NYC news. There is constant talk about the Memorial, about health benefits to the Ground Zero workers, about construction of buildings around the footprint, about the release of more 911 recordings. I know there are lots of people in this world that need this day to stop and remember. But I'm not one of them; I can't seem to forget. I feel a little guilty for getting upset because I know there are thousands of families that have more "ownership" on today's grief. But perhaps 9-11 belongs to everyone who lived in this city on 9-11. Because every single person here will never forget what they were doing on that day. We will never forget.