Monday, September 11, 2006


Has it really been five years?

Being in California, by the time I heard about the attacks they were long over, and the painful digging out and recovery underway.

I'd been out running, and The Boyfriend called me at about 8:30am Pacific time.

What's up? I asked, wondering why he was awake at what was for him 0-dark-thirty.

Turn on the TV, he said.

I turned on the TV.

Downtown Manhattan was my home for two years while I was in graduate school, and a favorite long-weekend vacation spot for my family. Mom, Sis, and I would go vintage clothes shopping on Lower Broadway while Dad got half-price theater tickets at the World Trade Center TKTS booth, a well-kept secret with lines much shorter than the Times Square one. I'd been there myself, marveling at the massive, airy lobby of cool marble and odd, narrow windows of the offices above.

Never visited the top. Never went to Windows on the World, even though they had regular swing dance nights with bands I liked. I always thought there'd be time.

There is never enough time.

I heard on the news this morning that statistically 20% of Americans know someone who was killed or injured in the attacks. While I don't know how this figure was arrived at, the scope of the tragedy and the fact that key locations were major U.S. cities make the circle of those who were affected quite large.

Most people I know are only a degree or two away from a victim or survivor. Friends of friends of mine died; a woman I worked with had a blood relative on one of the planes.

The circle grows very large indeed when you include the millions who've served and are are serving in the two wars that resulted.

Here are a few photos from around the world that day, which are to me very moving in the way they convey support and connectedness in the face of tremendous loss.

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