Ground Zero in Middle Age

Despite years of rancor surrounding it, the WTC site still possesses a deep emotional power

They say these things take time, but I was surprised by how long it took before I really grieved for September 11. I had seen the events from a Brooklyn rooftop, far away, but not really so far as I had adopted the habit of saying. An uncle who had been married in the old Windows on the World a few years after the towers were finished pointed out that in crow-flight miles it was not very far at all, and those few nearly dead downwind. Still, when asked, I would say that I had the standard experience of millions of New Yorkers not immediately affected: the blue sky and the sparkling column of smoke, the sirens heard from horizon to horizon, the double collapse, and then the silent mounting grimness of the day.

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