Sunday is the 10th anniversary of the most horrific event in NYC history.
I can remember it as if it were yesterday.
The frantic calls, the people running through the streets to get to their loved ones, the scenes of billowing smoke, the stench of burning metal and bodies in the air, the terror that even more horrible violence might happen.
It was so surreal and immediate it was like being transported into a sci-fi film full of horrible plot twists.
All the comforts we regularly depended on seemed pulled out from under us as we entered a state of emergency that was harrowing and deeply sad, a nightmare that became way scarier when we realized this was for real and our city was under attack in the most demented and devastating way imaginable.
But the second it happened there also came an amazing response on the local level.
Through the smoke and tears, I saw kick-ass heroics, instant bonding of New Yorkers as our walls (literally) came down, and the feeling that those of us who were lucky enough to survive were a tighter, more irrepressible unit than ever.
Complete strangers were talking, hugging, emoting, and helping in inspiring ways.
Working through my fear, denial, and terror, I emerged with more pride than ever to be a New Yorker.
You can’t fuck with us.
I’m proud to be here.