Ten years ago, on September 11, 2001, I was not yet working in New York City. I was at a job in suburban New Jersey for a food industry publication. Someone mentioned a plane hit the World Trader Center and we went into a conference room and watched the television coverage.
Most of us had been gathering our parts for the daily newsletter that went out each morning and I remember my coworker rushing back to her office to get it done. I thought, "Who wants to read this today?" We were soon sent home.
I went to my parents' house and watched in the same horror of the unfolding events as the world did. The human urge to do something - anything to help - set in. My mother and I had tried that morning to donate blood at the Red Cross. We were turned away. None would be needed.
We did not lose anyone we knew that day. My father knew people in one of the towers that was hit, but they walked to safety. With so many commuters into New York City in our northern New Jersey area, so many souls were lost so senselessly everywhere around us.
Tori Amos wrote a song "I Can't See New York" on her Scarlet's Walk album that as I see it is from the perspective of a passenger who is on a plane that can't make it to New York. She observes that from the sky, "From here no lands are owned. From here no lines are drawn" and can't seem to understand what has happened. "What do they mean, side of what things?"
"I can't seem to make my way out of this hunting ground." Hunting ground seems right. Humans were hunted on a mass scale that day.
The physical body was just gone. "In the end, all we have soul blueprint."
I'm thinking of that song, but I'm also thinking of the solace found in her recent song "Carry."
"Love hold my hand, help me see with the dawn
that those that have left are not gone.
But they carry on, as stars looking down
as nature's sons and daughters of the heavens.
You will never be forgotten by me
in the procession of the mighty stars,
your name is sung and tattooed now on my heart.
Here I will carry, carry, carry you forever.
You have touched my life.
And so that now cathedrals of sound are singing are singing.
The waves that come to walk with you to where you will live in the land."
I'm thinking about the 10 years I had and the ones I have ahead that were robbed from others. It makes me angry, sad, and it fills my eyes with tears. A decade later, the pain still feels so raw on this day.
I'm also remembering how unified we all were, how much we wanted to show our love of our country (I remember how hard it was to find an American flag because they were sold out) and how the best of the human spirit was brought out.
If you are an American or viewed the events from your own country, please feel free to share your memories and stories of 9/11 - anything that may be on your mind about that day and the aftermath.