I went to school. I couldn't stay at home watching the news. The very depressing stories about people trying to locate their loved ones was heartbreaking. I needed to sit at the HelpLine desk, just in case someone with nowhere to go needed to talk about what happened, about life, about death, about nothing, about anything.
We had a lot of students who interned in the area and lost many friends and family members. I know what the days after a loss feel like, so I wanted to be there to support as best I could. I was surprised that the trains were running, but it's NYC and we stop for nothing. Similar to the eerie calm of the morning before, the city was surprisingly peaceful the day after. The train cars were empty. As it travelled under the World Trade Center, I sat with my headphones in, thinking about the enormity of what had happened. I was still in shock after watching the second plane hit and watching the buildings fall from one of the upper floors of Baruch's new vertical campus. My body was numb from walking back to Brooklyn in a sea of other heartbroken New Yorkers. My heart was still pounding from picking up Frank and his brother after they decided to walk through the battery tunnel back to the epicenter because they had to help. My emotions were all over the place. I got out of the train station and was embraced by the quietness of the city. I walked down 23rd street in a daze. Lost in my thoughts. As I approached the block before the school, I looked over at the 69th Regiment Armory, which was located across the street. Plastered on the walls were pictures of the 'MISSING.' They were everywhere. On the phone booths, mail boxes, bus stops, store windows. At that point the enormity of the devastation hit me.
I'm grateful that I didn't lose anyone on 9/11 but to know that mothers were looking for sons, sisters for brothers, husbands for wives, children for parents broke me. I walked into the building with tears streaming down my face, not understanding how people could hate in such a way. When I look back on that dreadful day, I apologize to my children for bringing them into such a world but then I look into their eyes and see hope for better days ahead.
"Imagine all the people, living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us and the world will live as one."