Telephone

(516) 203-4500

Email

deborah@acuzen.com

Address

347 Mulry Lane Lawrence, NY 11559

Before Corona there was 911. We all remember exactly where we were, and what we were doing when the first plane hit. Our lives would forever be altered.
It seems that this year has brought such dissension amongst ourselves… to wear a mask or not to… to socially distance or not… to protect our elderly or immune compromised… to respect other people’s fear and concern or mock them…
After the horrific tragedy of 911- a date I will never forget, we came together as a people, as a nation. No one cared if you were a Republican or Democrat. We didn’t divide based on socio-economic status. We didn’t judge each other. We joined together to try and heal as a nation.
Last year prior to COVID-19, I took a day to go visit the memorial. It was something I had wanted to do for some time, but needed to gain the strength as I knew it would hit me hard. My husband and I spent hours walking around, studying the frames of the wreckage and the descriptions of the victims as portrayed by their bereaved families. When I am overcome with emotion I feel a tight ball in my throat as I cry silent tears. Tears for the victims, tears for the first responders, tears for the families who lost so much not only that day, but in their hopes and dreams for their loved ones… so many tears.
The strongest memory I have of that day is actually before we got to the memorial. It isn’t something I have shared with many people. We had just exited the LIRR at Penn station. We weren’t sure which train took us to the area so asked by the information booth. We got on the train but weren’t sure where to go when we got off. Looking confused we stopped and asked a woman who had that look of someone who lived in the city and knows her where-abouts. She said I’m headed that way, I’ll show you. As a born and bread New Yorker, that kind of friendliness is a welcome surprise. Most people are in too much of a hurry to do more than point you in the right direction.
Little did we know at the time that we would spend the next 2 hours with this kind woman. Yes she pointed us in the right direction, but she did much more than that. She pointed to where she estimated she had been standing when the first plane hit. She was and she remains a survivor. She said she has had a difficult time sharing that day, her harrowing story of survival, but never the less she chose to do it with us. She walked us around the endless pools and the Oculus. She told us her story. What floor she was on. How and what led her to get out and walk down the steps. How she remembers passing co-workers who she never got to see again. She also explained her struggle with deciding wether to move out of NY after such horrific loss and life changing events. She chose to stay and continues to live in the city that had bared witness to her pain and yet helped her find joy again. She shared it all with us and for that I am forever grateful. We had our own private 911 memorial ‘tour.’ It wasn’t the tour I expected. It wasn’t just of the physical ruins and devastation, but a viewing into someone’s soul. Feeling their pain that may dull over time but never the less remains a gaping hole.
At the end of our private tour, we all hugged each other tightly. We thanked her endlessly for her utterly selfless time and for giving of herself. She thanked us for allowing her to tell her story and helping her heal.
911 we will never forget.

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