On this day eleven years ago, I was a second grader in PS139. It wasn’t a particularly unique occasion to my 6-year old self where I was safely nestled from downtown New York City. As a New Yorker, it feels strange that I don’t have a compelling story to share about where I was at 8:46 that morning. Nevertheless, the reverberations from a single moment eleven years ago continue to echo in all our lives.
The one thing I remember about that day is that my mom didn’t come home that night. Actually, I don’t even recall that. I just remember the disbelief I had when she said she had to climb down 30 flights of stairs. My mom was working at a corporate building in Tribeca at the time, on the 30th floor, a mile away from the World Trade Center. By the time she had arrived for work, the entire building had to be evacuated. The elevators weren’t running, so herself and thousands of employees inched down 30 flights of stairs in what seemed to be the smallest staircase in the world.