Everyone knows where they were when they heard the news of John Lennon's death. I was 17, lying on my bed watching Monday night football. And everyone knows where they were Tuesday morning, September 11th, 2001.
I won't attempt to tell my story of being at work early that day, just blocks from the Towers. I won't try to make poetry of the coffee in my hand as I looked out my office window, unaware I was watching truckloads of firemen on their way to die.
I will mention the woman from Harlem. We held hands and did not let go, negotiating our way through crowds-without words, sharing our fear and confusion. We were strangers and sisters, and like everyone, we were on foot, heading north, looking for home.
I will say something about the two men who picked us up in their jeep-driving alongside taxis filled with bloody fares, thousands of voiceless pedestrians marching, the silence of their footsteps, and businessmen clinging to briefcases as they rode on the bumpers of slow-moving trucks. We hadn't yet known what happened, but somehow we knew we'd forever be a part of each other's accounts.
We were a family of eight million that day and the days and weeks that followed. Every missing child was our missing child, and I'll leave it at that, because I'm just not good enough to paint a picture of what it was like to be where I was, on that Tuesday morning that began much like this Tuesday morning, under a crisp blue sky, so full of hope and promise.