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It was a hot day, and as the afternoon wore on, we saw young police officers — tired and sunburned — gently carrying on with their work, answering questions, directing traffic

Three local priests, elderly with white hair and black shirts, walking among injured survivors by the river

New Jersey firefighters being ferried over from lower Manhattan by a police boat, exhausted and slowly easing themselves out of their heavy gear. A Red Cross volunteer meeting them by the water with wet towels to wipe off the dust. A police officer with a bullhorn asking if there were any NYC police officers who needed to get back to Manhattan, "The boat is leaving"

Lines of birds perched on phone lines, unaware of the devastation around them

A dazed secretary with pretty green stockings all torn, and no shoes, limping off an emergency ferry; someone she didn't know handed her a cell phone so she could call home to say she was okay

WTC Tower Number Two, elegant and stately structure, collapsing in upon itself. My father worked for the Port Authority for many years, and as a child I visited the towers while they were under construction. We traveled way down into the subbasement foundations where an ancient Dutch ship anchor had been discovered, and then far up to the higher floors where we wandered, amazed, through the windowless but growing skeleton. And so I witnessed, first-hand, the birth and the death of our Twin Towers

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