Dear New York City

Dear New York City,

I was with you on September 11, 2001, trying not to be mindlessly patriotic in the aftermath but also amazed that somebody could do such a thing. Just as my mother remembers exactly where she was when JFK was shot I remember exactly what happened for me that morning as I watched. I remember the second plane strike, answering some of our questions.

I’ve been to Ground Zero twice, thinking each time of the sheer volume of the destruction. Five thousand people dying is small compared to wars, genocide, and epidemics, but never in such close proximity and with so little warning. And never with such a toll on emergency personnel. I’m glad the U.S. has remembered how important fire fighters are.

I’ve become dismayed by the national responses to the event. Our new security efforts leave a lot to be desired, spending a lot of money for very little gain. I am very glad the projects to rebuild have moved forward. It really seemed like the spirit of the event was being lost in land developer battles, politics, and greed. I’m hoping that once things are rebuilt, once we have a different political climate, people might start to think critically about what we’re doing about security and our image in the world.

I never got to visit the top of the WTC towers. I heard there was a killer bar at the top of one of them. I look forward to a martini at the top of the Freedom Tower in a few years.

Good luck and godspeed.