Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering Sept. 11

It's a little chillier today and the sky is close, but not quite, the same bright blue as it was five years ago, but while the day may look the same the city in many ways is a far different place.

There was quite a lot of official hoopla down at Ground Zero this morning, including a visit from President Bush, but it is the little remembrances that people did on their own that show how the attacks still affect this city. For example, as I crossed 6th Avenue at 29th St. today, which once held a great view of the WTC, I noticed people stopping as they crossed to look downtown at the empty skyline.

The city, in its own way, is also quiet today. Any visitor to NY realizes the shear volume of noise that surrounds you on the streets. During any normal day cars, horns, people yelling, fire and police sirens just fill the air. Not so general chatter today.

However, there were many sirens this morning. Between 9am and about 10:30am all I heard in my office were sirens. Hearing sirens is now a frightening sound in NY. Five years ago that is all one heard all day. I have no idea what was going on, but it was unnerving.

Adding to some people's jitters was a track fire at Penn Station this morning. This is nothing that far out of the ordinary for the station, but when one hops off their train into a room smelling of smoke with dozens of police and soldiers standing your mind starts wondering what exactly is going on.

Even my office is quiet. They usual loud telephone conversations are absent. Either people are refraining from their normal behavior or they decided to stay home.

It's been five years, but it could have been yesterday. Bin Laden is off laughing in his cave somewhere in Pakistan remember his crowning achievement. I'm not as optimistic as I once was that he would get his well-deserved bullet in the head death, but everyone eventually makes a mistake so there is still some hope that he will get what he deserves.


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