This was my first time spending 9/11 in the city. Last year, it fell on a weekend and I went to CT, and before that I went to school in Long Island. Being in the city on this day, gave me a little anxiety…but most importantly, it made me so proud of New York and New Yorkers.
It’s hard to sit in the subway and not think about the people that also took the subway that morning, thinking it would just be a normal day. A subway car is by far one of the worst places to be deep in thought because without your headphones on or some kind of distraction, it literally feels like you’re in there forever–and there’s really no way out until it makes it on to that next platform. Today especially, it felt a little eerie, but maybe it was in my head.
Whenever I felt a little anxious today, I just kept reminding myself of the people around me, all the New Yorkers who couldn’t care less whether anxiety was bothering them today because fear does not dictate a New Yorker’s life. That’s something that makes me so happy. The city stops for nothing not even terror.
Walking back home, I just saw so many people swarm around the Freedom Tower and the memorial–seriously, SO many people. Living this close to the Freedom Tower and looking at all the pictures online of places I recognize near my building is so emotional. My apartment is my home and this area is my home. I always say, I wouldn’t mind living in FiDi for the rest of my time in NYC. The thought that someone could hurt my home really brought me to tears.
My roommate who works for the organization, Answer the Call, that supports families who lost their loved ones in the line of duty, shared with me a pretty uplifting 9/11 story that I think is worth sharing on the blog. Every year, the family of a FDNY captain who lost his life on 9/11 puts on a special day in his honor. 9/11 also happens to be his birthday and he would’ve been 56 today. The family visits special places like his fire house, lunch at his favorite spot, a nearby bar he used to bartend at, and they even go to mass with his entire battalion. They see it as a birthday celebration, celebrating a hero’s life and I think it’s a touching way to look at NYC. It reminds me that there’s a lot more love out there than the hate that happened on 9/11.