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.