After the airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center buildings I did not write for a year. I started writing again on the anniversary but kept my thoughts away from that terrible thing. A year later we went to visit the place where it happened and these are my thoughts.
Ground Zero Manhattan NYC
Thursday, September 11, 2003: This is the second anniversary of that terrible day. I recall it so well and know where I was when I heard the news. I went to visit ground zero last September. We paid silent tribute to victims killed and victims left behind. I did not know anyone who died or even anyone personally who knew friends or family who died but I felt so terribly sad. I remember on that day after it happened I went to the church and found it shut. I visited the priest in his residence and he let me in so I could have a moment alone with my faith. At that time they were calling on volunteers to give blood but anyone with eyes and who got a glimpse of the empty emergency wards three hours after the crashes should of known it was not blood that was needed it was body bags.
I always loved New York. I remember my first visit in the Spring of 1962 as a twelve year old. I fell in love then and if anything my love has grown over the years. I remember the United Nations. I remember the Bronx Zoo. I remember eating at the automat and the cheap apartment my mom found for us in Greenwich Village. I remember Fifth avenue and I remember my mom crying because she ran out of money and she could only afford to buy one ice cream to be shared by her two hungry children. I remember crying too. Uncontrollably for at least an hour after I kidnapped my little sister and we were arrested for trying to sneak into the Empire State Building. They all thought I was crying because I was a lost kid far away from home but they couldn't understand it was my broken heart that was crying. My heart was broken with the knowledge that I was not lost. NYC was my home and when my mom came down to the police station to get us she would take us hundreds of miles away to a foreign country. We would not get to view the New York City skyline from the world's tallest building on that trip and I cried a sad river of tears. I remember the nice cop and his gift of a paper mate pen to try somehow end my sadness. But he could not stop my tears. I could not stop my tears. I kept that paper mate with its two hearts for years like some precious icon and its secret memory. I remember the pen but I do not remember where or how it was lost.
New York is New York. I love the Sunday New York Times and at 14 I cut lawns to earn enough money for a subscription to the New Yorker. I have been back many times and it never fails to amaze me. So when the planes hit it was like I learned my dearest lover was raped and her honor violated. I felt sad and angry but mostly sad. As I knelt in the church on the morning of September 11 I thought of these things and my broken heart made me weep like I was twelve years old again broken and busted with no way known to stop that river of tears.
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