Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I Will Never Forget

It's hard to believe it's been 12 years since I stepped out of a New York City subway, walked up the stairs and outside onto West 4th Street in Greenwich Village, saw traffic had stopped and people were standing in the middle of the street pointing toward the sky at a gaping hole in one of the World Trade Center towers surrounded by smoke and fire.
With such a tumultuous beginning, I had no idea how the day, September 11, 2001, would end. I'm grateful for my New York University friends who were with me as we navigated our way through chaos and uncertainty. And, I'm grateful for miraculously meeting up with my sister in Manhattan, eight hours later, amongst crowds of people, and us finding our way home.
The memory of September 11 will always be a part of my life. My heart aches for the loved ones of those lost, as for many the pain of that day remains the same. I recently looked through a journal I kept during that time, and found a poem I wrote about the day after.

The Day After

It was a long night after an unbearable day
A friend of mine said on the phone today
Strike back, cause fear!
I heard a man yell into another man’s ear
More than 2,000 perished, I can’t believe my eyes!
A woman said aloud while reading a newspaper as she walked by
Photos upon photos of loved ones
Some flying through the air
Each one representing heightened despair
Flickering candles
Ave Marias
Fighters jets
Inhalers for breathing
Thick clouds of smoke prevent from telling the season
Is there a reason?
A homeless man said while shaking his head
Debris and rubble have taken the place of his bed
Volunteers donate cheers
To a band of brothers
In search of one another
Political ambition in remission
As heads of state contemplate
A decision
On a collision
That attempted division
Or a division
That resulted in a collision
Though united we stand
With red, white and blue flags in our hands
Reeling from the effects of hate
Trying to understand
-Sheryl Estrada

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