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2001-09-12 - 4:11 p.m.

Nothing like a national disaster to put everything into perspective.

Tuesday was a daze; I spent the entire morning talking to relatives. We all called Erin, first thing; she goes to school in Manhattan, near Lincoln Center. And then we all called each other. I talked to my sister Danielle (and used Yahoo Maps to try and figure out how far away Lincoln Center was from the World Trade Center - five miles), my stepdad, my brother Michael (who called from Germany, and was receiving most of his information from friends in the States, who would email him running commentary of what was happening on CNN), and my dad (who grew up in Long Island).

I don't suppose I really need to write about this. I don't think I'll forget. I don't think anyone will.

Here's what my sister emailed:

I can't do anything, either. I'm sitting in my apartment in mid-town Manhattan, glancing out my window at tiny pieces of debris floating to the ground. Other people in my building have yet to hear from parents and friends who work in the World Trade Center. I feel nauseated, and I wonder how people in places like Bosnia emotionally survive frequent bombings. I want to go to the understaffed hospitals, to give much-needed blood (but I don't weigh the requisite 110 pounds). That chapter I have to read for psych or the cover letters I should be writing for part-time jobs seem more trivial than ever.

It's difficult for me to envisage this city functioning normally again. And it's painful for me to think of the Hell that people can create for other people.


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