On September 1, 2001, I moved to New York City to start a new job in the positive youth development field that I love so much. Ten days later, our lives were changed by the attacks on the World Trade Center towers. Here’s what I remember:
- Looking out my 10th floor apartment window in the morning and seeing smoke billowing from the first tower.
- Walking to NY Presbyterian Hospital to give blood. Seeing the doctors and nurses straining their eyes toward downtown and waiting outside in the emergency room driveway for ambulances to bring patients.
- Spending hours dialing and re-dialing my cell phone to reach my family in Missouri because the cell phone antennas atop the World Trade Center were gone.
- The quiet streets in NYC in the days after 9/11. No cars, no people, just silence as the city mourned.
- Second Avenue on 9/12 – empty of cars except for a miles-long line of yellow bulldozers and construction equipment heading to the WTC site like an excavation armada.
- Adding my brownies to the huge potluck table of food from neighbors for the police officers and staff of the 13th Precinct who were working around the clock right on my block of 21st street.
- The heroes – police, fire, EMT, Port Authority. Everyone giving them tremendous respect and appreciation for all they had done and all they had lost.
- The horrible smell of all that was burning downtown and changing my air conditioner filters every week to get rid of the black soot.
- So many people wanting to support the needs of kids through our organization during such a difficult time.