The night of September 10th I went for a run, instead of my usual route, I ran downtown to Ground Zero. Amid the street closings, barricades and police, an overnight fire crew was walking slowly up Church Street with a large wreath. My eyes filled with tears and I could do nothing except kept going.
The fire station across 14th Street from our apartment, Engine 5, gathers on the sidewalk in front of the station for four moments of silence each year. I would imagine most stations do the same.
8:46am is always the hardest. That’s when everything floods back. Each of the following moments gets a little easier, but this is when the memories of images and smells and feelings are nearly overwhelming.
9:03am was the moment we knew Flight 11 was no accident, but that distinction and those 17 minutes of residual innocence have been lost to time.
At 9:59 the South Tower fell and one of the city’s mountains vanished, we knew things would never, ever be like they were.
By 10:28, many of the emotions have washed out, grief and awe give way to genuine feelings of thanks and respect.