Ten years ago today, while living in Buffalo, I woke up thinking my roommate was watching a movie on TV. I saw a burning building on screen and immediately thought, "What's this? Die Hard?" My roommate said, "No...this is real."
I left my apartment that morning not knowing what to think about what I just saw; it didn't register. The atmosphere outside was what I could only describe as Still.
Everyone in my office was watching the news in the movie theater near our office where they projected the news for everyone. I tried calling my mom from the office phone but nothing was going through. I would get some automated message that said something to the effect of: Due to the tornado/hurricane/earthquake, all phone lines are down.
My mom worked just a few blocks from the Twin Towers at Strawberry's, a women's clothing store. I remembered that she said she was on vacation that week and wasn't working but I had to make sure that she wasn't all of a sudden called in to cover a shift. It's not right that anyone has to feel that feeling that I had that day. Luckily, she wasn't working that day and was home with my father in Brooklyn.
Friends, acquaintances...people who I've only hung out with once, who were from NYC and knew I was came up and hugged me without question. We didn't need to know a lot about each other, we didn't need to have had long conversations in the past...we had the connection that our home was attacked. Someone out there came into our house and destroyed a part of our home...and all we can do from Buffalo, NY is just hold each other.
They say never forget today and I won't. What they don't say is move forward and live.