I remember arriving at work shortly before 9am, watching the North Tower of the World Trade Center burn and then watching a second plane fly directly into the South Tower.
I remember everyone standing around as the Twin Towers disintegrated into dust.
I remember my friend who came to visit from his downtown office. When he emerged from the subway earlier that morning, he saw people jumping through windows in their office buildings. Jumping to their deaths 100 stories below seemed more bearable than enduring the heat generated by burning planes.
I remember walking past several hospitals in mid-afternoon seeking to donate blood only to learn that the blood banks were already full due to the generosity of others.
I remember seeing doctors with gurneys lined up on the street outside emergency rooms waiting to receive patients that never came.
I remember the thick ash-filled smoke that consumed the island of Manhattan for a week afterward.
I remember the bulletin boards where people posted pictures of missing loved ones. While it is heartbreaking to walk past a tree or a light post with a picture of a missing child smiling back, imagine walking through Grand Central Station and seeing large bulletin boards where people posted wedding pictures and vacation photos searching for missing loved ones, pictures of smiling policemen and firefighters in starched pressed uniforms who would never come home.
I remember the daily funerals and memorial services that were held for months on end where families were afforded the dignity of burying the bone fragment of a loved one. Say what you will about Mayor Giuliani, he attended the funerals and memorial services of every lost policeman and firefighter, sometimes several per day in all boroughs of New York City.