The morning of September 11, 2001 seemed like just another crisp fall day in New York. I left for work, and following my morning routine I went to the store on the corner for my daily caffeine fix. Looking at the TV screen mounted behind the counter I saw a building that looked like one of the world trade center towers with smoke billowing from a gaping hole.
I asked the store clerk what movie he was watching, he gave me a look that I will never forget and told me that it wasn't a movie at all. He told me that there had been reports of a private plane accidentally crashing into one of the World Trade Center buildings. We talked for a few minutes and then watched in horror as a second plane crashed into it's twin tower. First one tower crumbled like a brittle house of cards and then the other followed suit. It was a surreal, unsettling, and awful event to witness. It was later discovered that we were the victims of cowardly suicidal terrorists who murdered thousands of innocent New Yorker's. Today is eerily reminiscent of that day, a chilly Tuesday morning with clear blue skies, and citizens going about their daily grind.
I remember arriving at work that morning and sitting on the roof with my coworkers watching all hell break loose across the river. I remember seeing bits of burned paper floating on the morning air, and I remember feeling like my life was in danger for the first time, just because I am an American. Since that day the New York City skyline looks like a puzzle with a missing piece. A mere fragment of what it once was, and no matter what stands on that site today it will never be the same.