There are many Sept. 11 stories to tell. I’ve written a lot of mine down, but whenever it comes to telling them, I try to wrap them up with a perfect bow. First, with a eulogy I read when I was 15 and still blindsided by it all. Then, at an FDNY 10-year anniversary ceremony. It’s nice to speak to these things neatly, I thought. I liked putting a hopeful, resilient spin on it because, after all, we weren’t going to give up. We were still committed to shining bright on behalf of the 3,000 people we lost. But there is a shadow of darkness still, a sadness that remains. Rarely is there a magical moment of true peace with premature death, especially on such a massive scale with an unending aftershock. For us 9/11 "survivors," we evolve and grow. We keep moving to the unstoppable momentum of New York City. It’s our home and the place we love so much. It’s part of who we are. We survived with it. We rebuilt with it. My dad perished into the very foundation of this island. He was never recovered from ground zero, not even a trace. So here he rests, in my city and my heart.
I can still see his silhouette walking out our front door, and hear the screen door shutter behind him.
I often imagine seeing it through his eyes, what he must have been feeling, thinking.
Around 2005, the FDNY released many of the dispatch calls from Sept. 11. I listened in entirety for my dad’s voice, but never found it.
My dad perished into the very foundation of this island. So here he rests, in my city and my heart.
I think we all feel that way, directly or indirectly affected. What would life have been like for us without a Sept. 11?