As times passes, thousands of memories become hundreds which then become just a few. It’s always so hard to predict, in the moment, which will be the memories that survive.
I remember less and less about 9/11 but the few flickering images are vivid. I was in Washington and my family was here in NYC on 9/11. Here’s what’s left of my memories:
When the subway went near the ground zero, the stench of the destroyed building was still pronounced weeks later. I remember imagining that I was breathing particles of buildings, paper and, at some level, people….

The Armory, a few blocks from the Beliefnet office, was the holding area for relatives looking for victims. For months after the attack, the bus stops and walls in this neighborhood (23rd street in Manhattan) were papered with posters of lost family members. Every one knew these people were dead, not lost, but no one wanted to take down the posters. It felt like defiling a tombstone…
Hearing my wife describe how, when she picked up the kids in school in Brooklyn, the ash was so thick on the tops of cars that it looked like it had snowed….
My kids going to the local firestation in Brooklyn, which had lost several firefighters, and lighting candles….
Realizing that my borther had been scheduled to fly from Boston to New York that morning. The phones weren’t working so it was several hours before I determined that he wasn’t on one of the planes that crashed….
When I got to my appointment that morning in Washington and someone said a plane had struck the Twin Towers, I remember imagining a small bi-plane smacking it and bouncing off….
Blackberrying with the folks back at Beliefnet to find out whether any of our members had died, feeling profoundly proud of the editors working to provide comfort/wisdom to readers…
Crying in Temple as we sang God Bless America, in part out of vivid fear that my children’s world would be ruined, infinitely more dangerous than the one I’d grown up in…
What are your remaining memories?
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