I went ot school at Pace University. The campus in NYC is in lower manhattan right at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge. 2001 was my junior year of college and my first full year as a theater major. I was supposed to be on campus September 11th, but I wasn’t - a production meeting for a play I was working on was cancelled the night before, so I was home.
When I woke up, I walked to computer in my room and at the time my AOL Instant messenger window scrolled the news. “plane crashes into world trade center…”
I put on the news and we all know the rest.
What I remember most though is the weeks and months after September 11th. I remember returning to Pace and trying to get moving on shows again. I remember the national guard and humvees. I remember the smell of scorched steel from a fire that didn’t die for a long time. I remember looking in on the damage.
But that’s not what I remember most.
What I remember most is New Yorkers being neighbors. I remember watching people shop and go to work and waving hello to national guards soldiers. I remember everyone being nervous and confused, but more than anything I remember watching the city pull together. Con Ed workers and construction agents working throughout the day and night to restore electrical service. I remember a sense of us pulling together. I remember watching vans of lunches packed by school children arrive on site.
Out of the worst day came the best in people. We were all scared somewhere deep down, but we were in it together. We lived together we worked together and we survived together.
I was a lucky one. I didn’t lose any family or friends. I wasn’t there that day. I witnessed the worst on TV with the rest of the nation, but I got to watch the best in person.