The one thing every New Yorker remembers about September 11th is how goddamn blue the sky was that day.
We were in all different parts of the city, with all different vantage points and views, we carry all different anecdotes and episodes from the event and its aftermath. But what we all had in common was that sky.
The term cerulean gets thrown around a lot. So does crisp. It was both of those things. The haziness of August had gone away but there wasn’t yet a trace of autumnal dark in the atmosphere. I swear it was gorgeous, unforgettably so.
I don’t read the articles anymore, or the op-eds or the thinkpieces or the where are they now? stuff or any of it. I don’t need to, I was there. I was here.
They keep saying “Never Forget”…
As if we ever could.
This is the thirteenth 9/11 since that one. They’ll ring the bells. They’ll read the names. There’s a beautiful new museum there now, built at the foot of the open footprints. The Freedom Tower will preside over the ceremony, a silent sentinel that practically commands you to look up at it. What they’ll never understand about America is that every attack on us means an opportunity for increased economic activity, more jobs and plans and projects. This time we redeveloped dozens of acres of the city with billions of dollars in spending. Next time maybe it’ll be trillions.
My friend Suzy will be down at Cantor Fitz today, remembering her dad, helping Howard Lutnick and the celebrities man the phones for Charity Day. God willing, the buy and sell orders will come flooding in to them from all over the globe.
Today I’ll come into Manhattan through Penn Station. I’ll walk past the Empire State Building on my way east. Later I’ll walk through Grand Central, coming out of the Met Life Building on my way to Rockefeller Plaza. Then I’ll be shuffling down through Times Square on my way downtown to dinner. New Yorkers can’t avoid these landmarks, but we’ll shudder as we rush into and out of them today. We’ll hold our breath. Some of us will think “What if it was me?”
The 9/11 anniversary days that don’t look or feel anything like 9/11 are better.
At least there’s no crisp, clear, impossibly blue sky today. At least it’s gray.