Friday, September 12, 2003

September 11

Of course, it all comes back, except the shock. Now I know what to expect. Watching CNN last night I felt the same sickness, sadness and anger, no, make it rage, that I felt then.

New York isn't just a great city - it's MY city. I know I have to share it with a few people, but that doesn't stop me feeling enraged at what happened that day.

I always tell people I come from "upstate, north of Albany", which is true, but only partially. I lived in Queens until I was 9 and I went to college in the Bronx. After college, I worked and lived in the NYC area for four years before moving to Ireland. So, I have actually spent more time in New York than anywhere else.

When I think back to September 11, I also remember back to October 2000. I went to NY for the "Subway Series". Even though the result was awful, the atmosphere in New York that week was electric. I never experienced the city any better than it was then.

I remember the day after it ended, I found myself at the World Trade Center in a sea of Yankee fans. They were heading to their victory parade and I was looking for a place to hide. I bought a sandwich and a Coke and sat in the little park across the street just staring up at the towers. I remember thinking that I was disappointed — disappointed that my team had lost and disappointed that the 'ride' was over, but really glad that I was there for it.

The following spring I was in New York again. My wife and I brought the children downtown to meet my brother for lunch in a pizzeria in the mall beneath the Trade Center. My 6 year-old daughter wanted to go to the top, but the lines were too long so we told her "next time". It was the first thing she mentioned to me when I got home on Sep 11 — that now we'd never be able to go to the top of the World Trade Center. She was crying and that was all she could think to say, but I also knew she knew more, had seen more, than I wished she had.