My friend Neil and his band had been chosen to compete in some battle of the bands thingy that Dick Clark was putting on. He was supposed too be flying to New York early this morning, 4 years ago. So at 9 ish here in Denver, when planes started crashing all over the place, I naturally panicked. I called his house what must have been a thousand times in 20 minutes or so, literally praying into the phone that he had overslept and missed his flight.

Turns out, he had. They all had.

Meanwhile, the tiny little diner that I worked at had only one TV, a 12" black and white in the kitchen that isn't much bigger than an apartment kitchen. We had about 50 people eating breakfast that morning. It was weird how one phone rang, and then another, until the whole diner was full of rings. Ringtones hadn't really come into their own yet, and so all the cell phone rings were eerily in harmony with each other. As the diners got the news, so too did the kitchen staff over the TV. Within minutes all of the customers, and the three of us girls working that morning, filled the kitchen. We sat, drank coffee, and watched the world as we knew it end.

My friend Shamus called me a few days later, when Brooklyn had restored phone service. He told me how he got up that morning, looked out his window, and said, 'Wow, looks like the WTC is on fire." He hoped on the subway, came up on Lexington St. just in time for the first tower to fall. He wandered the city, trapped as they all were. That night he walked home with thousands of people. His roommate got to see people jumping, and spent the next few months in a psychiatric institution. I went to visit him a year and a half later. I stood on the roof of his building and was moved to tears by my first view of the altered skyline. From his roof I could see every major building in the NY skyline, save 2. When he took me to see what was left, which was really just a big hole in the ground, I cried a little then, too. I couldn't really grasp it until I was there, dust in my face, blinded by the lights of the crews working in the pit.