I never felt more American than I did during the weeks after 9/11.
It wasn't uncommon for someone to just start crying on the subway (ok that person was often me) but rather than look away, a lady next would gently squeeze a shoulder and the gentleman seated nearby would nod his head in solidarity.
Living through 9/11 in New York City so shortly after I moved there was like being at a friend's house during a family crisis. I was horrified, felt completely out of place and wanted to do anything I could possibly do to help the many grieving people in the city and the tri-state area.
I had no idea how to provide comfort to the many people in mourning and in shock. I still didn't know how to order a bagel on a Sunday morning without irritating the entire line behind me. I was still a rookie west coaster installing my first air conditioner from PC Richards. I was still so new I got Penn Station and Port Authority mixed up.
All I could think about was how many people didn't come home. I was haunted by that. Imagining them getting ready for their work day, deciding what to wear, taking the train or driving in, thinking it was a regular day.Read More