Ten years ago, the unthinkable happened to America, to New York; my country and city. I’m a news junkie, so CNN was on when the first plane struck the first tower. I did what so many who lived with the World Trade Center as part of their landscape did: I left my apartment and hit the street with neighbors to assess the horror. I called my son and a few others who lived further downtown just to make sure they were all right. They were. Then came the shock of witnessing the second plane aim for and hit the second tower. A guy from the third floor of my building pulled his car up so we could hear the radio news. We also got firsthand accounts from people who had fled the scene. The corner deli distributed bottles of water and the pizza place passed out slices.
Then suddenly each tower made its fiery decent, accompanied by a haunting moan that rose from the streets and filled the air of lower Manhattan. Several of us headed to St. Vincent’s ER to donate blood. First responders and those who were injured in their flight to safety were first to appear on the scene. But the number seeking help slowed to a trickle, and it dawned on everyone, including medical staff, that that was it. There would be no more survivors. It was then, as I still do, that I turned to the Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. There are currently things afoot in the country that seem out of our control, but that doesn’t mean that we can shrug off our responsibility as American citizens. We can always find the means and opportunity to express our ideas, invite others to join us in serving a cause, support our political points of view, or take action to affect change. To that end on this 9/11, I offer you this blog.