On 9/11, I was working as a news reporter for a financial magazine. I arrived at the office near Penn Station at 10:45 am, walked into the newsroom, when a co-worker shouted, “The World Trade Centers are gone!” I said, “That’s impossible!” He exclaimed, “Look out the window!” I looked outside and could not believe what I was seeing – black smoke rising from where the Towers once stood. Minutes later, we were told to evacuate the building. When I walked onto the street, U.S. jet fighters were flying overhead. I was so relieved to see American war planes. If you were in Manhattan that day, you were filled with dread and uncertainty.
The 9/11 Memorial is called Reflecting Absence to symbolize the loss and absence that was caused by the destruction of the World Trade Center. There are nearly 3,000 names inscribed on the parapets surrounding the Memorial pools. Some of the names include people who I interviewed for news stories. When I visit the Memorial, I stop by their inscriptions and spend a few quiet moments reflecting on their lives.