Opinion: That day: A personal recollection

By former Assemblymember Steven Sanders

Can it really be 15 years already since that darkest of days when the World Trade Center was attacked by terrorists, as well as the Pentagon, resulting in the death of over 3,000 innocent American citizens? A third attack probably aimed at Washington D.C. was thwarted by brave passengers on board a flight over Pennsylvania. They heroically lost their lives as well.

Among the dead in New York City were hundreds of firefighters, police officers and other first responders. Hundreds more have since succumbed to illnesses connected with inhaling of the toxic air which hung thick over “Ground Zero” for weeks after the collapse of the Twin Towers. Many of those dead or presently ill persons included ironworkers and construction workers and others who diligently worked to uncover any remains and to sort out the twisted beams strewn about the rubble.

Do you remember the hundreds of lamp posts covered with pictures of missing friends and relatives? They never returned home and they were never buried. There was nothing left of their mortal selves. For days after September 11, 2001 residents of this city walked the streets in silence trying to get on with their work or the daily routine of their lives. We greeted each other with a nod or a shrug. Maybe a knowing gesture. There were no words, only abject sadness and anger.

Continue reading