September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document
Story:I must start by saying that I knew no one personally that was killed. However, I was born and lived the first 40 years of my life in New York City. I am still grieving for the dead and it is 2 years later. There has not been a day that has gone by since those awful events that I do not think about it. Here in New York there are always reminders; we still fly our flags, paste memorial stickers on our cars, wear t-shirts that honor FDNY and PDNY heroes. The planes of Kennedy airport and LaGuardia still scream over our heads, low and loud, reminding us of how fast they could turn into instruments of terror and death.
At work on that day a visitor to our center said "Did you hear? A plane crached into the World Trade Center". A coleague of mine jumped up and shouted "What are you saying - my sistter works there!" In a flury of near-hysterical tears, she left work (her sister made it out and survived). I called home, surprised that the phone lines weren't jammed. By that point the second plane had hit and the pentagon as well. We were given false reports that the Stae Department had been hit and that there were 4 unaccounted for planed still in the air headed, presumably, for other targets. I thought to myself "this is war; our way of life is over".
I now think that democracy is an idea only - and a powerful one here in America. We stand on this idea - political leaders, the military and citizens alike. We could have lost it so easily that day except for our common and profoundly held commitment to it. I continue to be grateful that I am an American.