It was here, at my desk at work, that I first heard of what was to be 9/11; one of my colleagues rushed out of her office. Her husband, watching the news at home, had just called her.
The canyons of the financial district emptied; some companies sent people home, thinking this might be the beginning of a global catastrophe. I kept a lunch date with my friend Joan; we talked about what it meant to be Americans, though we now lived in Canada. It was she who shared the grimmest details of people on the towers, and we wept into plates of Indian food.
Now that I look back, we were in shock. On the street, I ran into a colleague from work who said, "This is inevitable. I'm from a part of the world where terrrorist attacks are not unusual. It's life, you go on." I was stunned, he sounded so blasé while I could barely absorb it.
As the stories of loss emerged, as the NY Times commemorated those who died with short profiles, as thousands of op-ed pieces and blogs examined the event, I kept thinking of his remark.
It is not usual for us, and may it never be.