Remembering that day and the souls lost.
Remembering being down at Ground Zero days later with the Red Cross and the look on the faces of the wives of missing firefighters as they steeled themselves and hoped against hope.
Remembering talking with the parents of my young patients as to how to talk to them about what was going on and uploading articles to my web site for parents and teachers who needed resources.
Remembering calling all my school district clients to see how the children and staff were doing and talking with them about how to counsel the children and each other — and crying with them for those children whose parents had been killed.
Remembering how after 9/11, the mood in the public schools I worked in was clearly different but the teachers did a phenomenal job of trying to keep things as “normal” as possible and positive for the children.
Remembering the first time I saw the picture of firefighters carrying out the body of Rev. Mychal Judge from the North Tower, and crying when I heard how they had laid his body at the altar of St. Peter’s Catholic Church.
Remembering a bicycle that no one had come back for.
Remembering firehouses where people brought tributes and food and prayers and remembering fire departments here locally organizing to bring supplies and help to the city.
Remembering a child who came in to the Red Cross office to make a donation of change she had saved.
Remembering discovering that someone had inserted malware on the Red Cross’s donation platform and having to get that disinfected before more people would be able to safely make donations.
Remembering not being able to get to a hospital in New York just north of Ground Zero where my mother’s partner lay dying of other causes and thinking how sad that he died without all the family at his side. Remembering getting a call weeks later that she had collapsed on a city street and some passersby and patrol officers had tended to her until emergency services arrived and took her to the hospital for an emergency pacemaker surgery. I have never forgotten the kindness of those passersby and police officers.
Remembering walking through the city two weeks later and it was eerily silent and the pictures of people who had been posted as “missing” were still lining the walls of fences and buildings. Walking past the city morgue and seeing an empty sidewalk with photos and prayers still there. Walking down the avenue where I used to work thinking about what had happened to the vibrant city that seemed empty and ghostly.
Remembering riding on the train and everyone was just quiet…. numb… not knowing what to say to each other about anything.
Scattered memories, all out of order, but all so heavily emotion-laden.
Every year on 9/11, my husband hangs the flag outside the house with his fire helmet as a show of respect. Last night, with tears in his eyes, he told me that today, 65 members of FDNY are children of firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11.
Bless them all.
Image credit: Newsday