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.


  1. Sally, thank you for that beautiful post. The memories are so strong for me, too, it feels impossible that it was ten years ago. And when I think of what these ten years have brought us, it makes me want to weep.

    Today, I was walking up Broadway near 76th Street and heard bagpipes and I realized that there was a ceremony at one of the fire stations. I stood there with a crowd of people and the fire men and women in their dress uniforms and their families there, too, and I was so moved.

    Thank you for mentioning the Serenity Prayer, that was just what I needed to remember.

    And also for the reminder that there is still work to be done. You are such a powerful example of being the change in the world. Love you.

  2. Thank you Sally. I covered 9/11 as a TV Reporter and it was scary as can be! We didn't know if we were going to get hit again. Bruce springsteen wrote the most perfect song called "Empty Sky". That's what I remember about the day our New York world came crashing down.

  3. Thank you Sally for including me in your list. I admire the resilience of New Yorkers and always pray for NYC and its population to be safe.

  4. yesterday, a friend and I went to the 92nd street Y, for a talk with Joel Meyerowitz, and saw the photographs he was allowed to take at the site, right after the planes struck the towers; He wanted to have a counsel of 6 artists to film and document the site, to really document for history what happened; as it turned out the powers in charge only allowed him to document, and he did the best he could; the photos showed the experience strength and hope of the construction workers and first responders as they found human remains, and had prayer services for each one found. the photos are an awesome tribute to the human capacity during this trauma to care and respect for the living and the dead. And the resilience of the human spirit. God's Peace.

  5. Sally, thank you for this post -the more people who think this way, the more chance there is that we can bring about real change in America -America is a great country which has somehow lost its way -I believe that we can all help to find it again. Keep posting and fighting, Sally -you're an inspiration!
    Incidentally, I was in Ireland both on 9/11 and on teh anniversary last week -there were remembrance services all over the country for the people who died that day -