I Was There...I commute to NYC, and on 9/11 everyones cellphones began to buzz as soon as we emerged from underground/got coverage. confusion as to 'a small plane crashed into ont of the towers'. by the time I got to the office, the 2nd plane hit - now growing clear that we're under terrorist attack...my 10a appt suggested I still come along to give a speach to their group, but we ended up just sitting in their conf room watching the events unfold. we could hear the towers fall (2 mi away).
all bridges/tunnels are shut down - bumper-bumper traffic on all streets as the entire city is in evacuation mode...we marshalled 8 people (one was 7 mos pregnant) who live in the northern suburbs into a SUV, packed w bottled water, food - thinking we're in for a 10-hr slow drive...3rd Avenue was absolutely packed - traffic not moving much at all.
we decided to get onto the FDR drive, which couldn't be much worse than the streets - and to our amazement it was absolutely wide open - not a single car on it. we thought we must have done something wrong/expected to be pulled over by a police car/helicopter or something - but we sailed home (dropping off people along the way). Ironically, it was one of the most beautiful days of the year...
I lost 2 friends that day - and countless friends-of-friends. A good buddy of mine worked in the WTC at Cantor Fitzgerald and we fear was one of the people who decided to jump to escape the burning inferno. This time of the year - there are numerous memorials, fund-raisers for families who lost a parent, etc.
I will never forget the horror, the sadness and the angnst of that day - but urge all of us to maintain a peaceful attitude when hearing of the wackos who want to retaliate/memorialize things by burning Korans, having inappropriate/politicized knee-jerk reactions to mosque building near the WTC site and in general, anti-Islamic attitudes. Islam is not the problem, it's the radicals who are - and they are non-denominational.