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  1. Pingback: I Remember, 2008
  2. I Remember

    (Photo: Forever lost view from the World Trade Center’s Top of the World observatory. Credit: terraxplorer2.) It’s been six years since we lost the New York that was, but today we all remember. Yet, while we continue to remember…

  3. All Roads Lead to Brooklyn

    (Photo: There’s no place like home. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory.) “It all started way back in April of 2003. I had moved to Chicago to get over NYC’s post-9/11 angst.” October 26, 2005 “I’m a former transit planner. Cars…

  4. I Remember

    (Photo: Forever lost view from the World Trade Center’s Top of the World observatory. Credit: terraxplorer2.) You have better things to do today than to read a post from me. There are far more important people in your life…

  5. Thanks for writing this, Mike. People will benefit from your sharing of your story.

    Other than seeing the impact at Tower 2 (which obviously put me in shock), the moment of pure grief came when I was runnning through Midtown and heard about the collapse. One of those Good Samaritans you mentioned shared his taxi with me on Park Ave and 46th Street. (You and I crossed right by each other.) The radio reported the collapse. I couldn’t see it or feel it, but I KNEW it. I thought, 50,000 people are dead. New York is dead.

    From our days in planning, I read that the WTC housed 50,000 workers, shoppers, commuters, and hotel guests on any given day. My mind went from hearing that the Twin Towers were gone to thinking all those people we knew, people just like us, were gone, too. Obliterated.

    I tried, like you, to stick it out and repair New York. I couldn’t.

    I never got over that feeling of pure pain I had in that cab on Park Ave at 10:45 am on 9/11/01.

    Thanks for giving space to share.

  6. As a former New Yorker that moved away about a year after 9/11, I can’t agree with you more.

    Yes, it was a horrible day for everyone. No, if you weren’t there, you can’t understand how it felt for those of us that were there that day, and who were still there for the weeks and months that followed……

  7. Thanks, Mike. A most beautiful, heartwrenching post as only a witness could write it. My eyes were not dry……

  8. Another beautifully written post.

    My friend’s sister was killed by the first plane that went into the WTC. It isn’t a story that is mine or yours, but ours. It is a tragedy of epic proportions and for all of the families and people involved that day, such as yourself.

    It seems as if the world was innocently asleep until that day.

    Unfortunately, it seems that the NYC, Washington DC and Pennsylvania were
    the collective alarm clocks that woke us up from that innocence.

    I hope you find solace in letting it in.


  9. That’s similar to how a former coworker of mine felt after Chicago’s Blue Line derailment earlier this year. She was in the car that derailed, and said that all anyone could think was that the accident was terrorism related. Stuck underground for 45 minutes, there was no way to know otherwise.

    Although I’m pretty sure there were other riders familiar with the Chicago Transit Authority’s track record who thought, “Great, the CTA fucking derailed again and now I’m stuck in a burning car.”

  10. Thanks for posting your thoughts. Obviously, that day will have a more profound impact on anyone in that city that day than on those of us who watched from afar.

    I don’t think that anyone here wants to make 9/11 “ours” (we’d much rather wish it away completely) so much as seeing those images made us worry if we are a target and how we would react. I was living in London on 7/7/05, and although I was nowhere near the actual explosions (I was actually stuck elsewhere in the transit system totally unaware of what was going on until I made it to central London and saw all the police). I haven’t looked at mass transit the same way since then.

  11. Thanks Devyn, Vit.

    I hadn’t realized how far down I’d buried the events of that day before I started writing today’s post. In five years, I haven’t forgotten the feeling of looking back at Manhattan from the 59th Street Bridge and not seeing the towers.

    Yesterday, I found a photo of that view on the Internet, taken by another evacuee. Five years and 700 miles later, it may have been only the second time I’ve cried over 9/11.

    In the past 24 hours, it hasn’t been the last. But that’s the price, I think, of finally letting go. No more running…

  12. Very nice post. I’m a Chicagoan who does remember being evacuated from the LOOP that day, and I do remember thinking the whole time how much worse it was for those where actually living through it, which was naturally confirmed when I spoke with my friends from NYC. So rest assured, from at least this one Chicagoan, I have no interest whatsoever in attempting to make that day mine. I love your blog by the way.

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