The photo on the left was taken in my garden on the afternoon of September 11th, 2001. Finding solace by tending the flowers was my antidote to the horror of that day. The other antidote was writing. As the tenth anniversary of 9/11 approaches, I’d like to use this space to share these reflections.
In the days and weeks following that calamity, I kept a journal of raw impressions and reactions to the attacks on my native city. As months passed, I began to shape these impressions into numerous drafts of anecdotes and short essays, charting my own journey from shock to continued reflection. Yet there was more. I had no way of knowing that apart from 9/11, another shadow would haunt that year: the loss of my kindhearted brother, Phil. In my life, these two tragedies were intertwined — one in the context of our human family, the other, more personal. Each resonated with the other; each called on me to reflect on my family history, on my affection for my native city, and on the passing of our brief lives.
Memory Suite: 2001 – 2002 will appear weekdays, starting Monday and ending Friday, September 9th (Weekdays only; you get weekends to catch up! Entries vary in length from 300 to 800 words). I hope the series will provide you with thoughtful perspectives on an event which will be widely remembered and covered in the days ahead. As you read these entries, please feel free to respond with your own thoughts and reflections.