It's been six years. And each year as it approaches I wonder if this will be the year that I don't feel the tears welling up in my eyes the night before.
I was so happy that it was raining and gray out this time around because it was so spectacularly sunny and beautiful in 2001.
I'm lucky to have an office with an expansive window facing the mammoth Riverside Church - a beautiful landmark along Riverside Drive by West 120th. They rang the bells to commemorate when each building collapsed (around 10 am). I was so thankful to them for not forgetting or putting it behind them like so many New Yorkers have (because they must).
In the morning I was listening to WNYC discuss 9/11 - what small events were planned, coupled with a few brief interviews. My son Ben kept on shutting off the radio - which was really odd. Then I asked why and he said "mom, I don't want to hear about 9/11 anymore, it's in my life everyday." So we turned off the radio for good.
9/11 had a terrible impact on Ben. He was almost 4 and stood on the roof with us as the second plane crashed and the first tower fell and chaos began. He watched his parents freaking out and started crying and hitting the television when it showed the second tower crumbling - and sensed his parents confusion and fear. For months afterwards he crashed his planes into his building blocks and drew pictures of the towers falling. It was very hard on him.
He must have overheard some of our conversations with concerned parents and friends about whether to get out of the city (we refused to), what the hell the white dust was covering our windows, the terror of the anthrax scare that killed someone on the subway and the neighborhood plastered with pictures and flyers of lost loved ones, having to wear surgical masks for two weeks because the air was unbreathable and having to show an I.D. to get to our homes below 14th street. And all of the firemen and emergency workers driving up and down the empty avenues digging up the dead in the debris. Now they are dying and begging the government to recognize their illnesses. A fine thank you.
I know I'm going on and on. It's gone. But the scar is permanent.