20th Anniversary of 9/11/2001

Brian Lehrer, the most comforting and intelligent voice in NYC, is coming out of my speakers. I don’t know. I’ve got so many 9/11 stories, but I don’t really want to tell them anymore. I don’t watch 9/11 specials anymore. That said, for some reason I watched one last night. It was very well done, but I had to look away several times (when they showed people jumping). And it just made me sad. The world is worse than it was then, and we share much of the responsibility for that. A few stories though, the amazing decency of some people. That helped me from feeling completely flattened.

I’ll be walking downtown with a friend I made when volunteering at St. Paul’s Chapel during the recovery period. We’ll listen for a while to the reading of the names of 9/11 responders who have died since 9/11, due to 9/11 related illnesses. That is the idea and work of another 9/11 St. Paul’s Chapel volunteer, Barbara Horn (no relation, but we call each other sis). That will be somber. These are the people we worked with, the people we fed. We made beds in the church so they could lay down and rest. Well done, sis.

I’m fine. I just can’t help feeling, once again, that we squandered such an amazing opportunity. Our country was united, the world was united, and every step we took afterwards destroyed that incredible chance to build on the bridge the terrorists had unwittingly constructed. We’re now choking on the ever-rising hate and division. Ha. I don’t sound fine.

Hopefully I’ll be seeing lots of old friends today and I will have happier memories and pictures to post tomorrow. I took these pictures from my roof. The second shows the south tower falling. The third I took the next day, and it was still smoking. It would for a long time, and you could smell the fires burning for months.

World Trade Center 9/11/2001

World Trade Center, 9/11/2001

World Trade Center, 9/11/2001

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

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