On Sunday, October 18, 2009, I was drawn to the site of the WTC. My hotel was just a few blocks away and I felt it was important to visit the site and honor all the people who died that tragic day.
It was a somber experience. The site was so much larger than I had imagined. I felt grief, loss and emptiness. I’m not sure what I was searching for, but I just knew I hadn’t found it yet…so I kept walking…one more block….one more block.
And then I came to St. Paul’s Chapel and I knew I had found what my heart and soul were seeking. As I walked through the gate, I experienced the feeling of quiet strength, courage and hope in the midst of the greatest loss.
As I was walking back to my hotel, I passed Firehouse 10. The door was open and two firemen were talking to tourists and selling tshirts and calendars (all proceeds go to charity).
Someone in the crowd asked if these men had been there on 9 11. Fire Fighter John Morabito said he was there, inside the building as it started to come down. He brought out a photo album to share.
It wasn’t until later, on my trip home, that I read an account of Morabito’s experiences. But at that moment, all I knew was…this man is my hero. And for all the people who risked their lives to save others….I hugged him and thanked him.
At 2:49pm on Sunday, October 18, 2009, I forever fell in love with New York.