Never Forget.

{photo by Sara Moe}

I was twenty years old and sleeping about a mile uptown when the first plane hit the World Trade Center. Life changed in an instant. When Osama Bin Laden was killed, I found this letter I’d written to my Rabbi after a day of horror.

Hi Rabbi Brown:

It’s good to hear that the Temple will be together tonight. I remember going to services after the earthquake and how comforting that was. I wish I was anywhere but New York City tonight. But I just want everyone on that side of the country to know that there are amazing things happening following this horrendous tragedy here on the East Coast.

Today, after watching thousands of people die in burning monuments from the roof of my Third Avenue East Village apartment, I walked out onto the street. It was an incredible scene. There were people flooding down the street. No one was running, the overall traffic flow was slower than usual. There were virtually no cars on the street, only ambulances and emergency vehicles, and everyone not covered in dust and debris was heading to the hospital to give blood. People were weeping and hugging, and people were covered in soot wearing triage tags. It was like nothing I thought I would ever see in this lifetime. And yet, at the same time, people were inviting victims into their homes, restaurants were handing out food and water, and no one pushed or cursed. New York City for the first time since I moved here, was full of love. Everyone had found a common bond, the determination to survive this. Race and class didn’t matter, everyone comforted everyone.

And as I walked uptown to Penn Station with friends, passing boys my age holding M-16s with bayonets attached directing traffic in the streets, people were just looking to help. No one argued, everyone stopped to give money to the col- lectors on the street, and everyone stopped to share their story. And just an hour after being more terrified than I have ever been in my life, I realized that we are going to be okay. Lives were lost, but perhaps faith was born. I just wanted to pass along to the West Coast, before you spoke to the congregation tonight, that New York City is not beaten, that for the first time ever people seem to be rising to the occasion. I wish more than anything that I could be within the comfort of our congregation tonight, but know that I, and I am sure other TAS alumni now in N.Y., are with you in spirit. G-d bless.


Last year, on the tenth anniversary of the attacks, I asked the friends who experienced that harrowing day with me first hand to join me in sharing their accounts. The results were stunning.

10 Years Later.
Dan Brown: Father, Author, Teacher
Amy Hunt: Speech Pathologist, Thrift Store Connoisseur, Romantic.
Lindsey Anthony: Playwright, Thinker, Documentarian
Keeley McNamara: Midwife, Mother, Lover of Life
Sara Moe: Mother, Photographer, Keeper of Memories
Neal Dusedau: Screenwriter, Wine Guy, Glue
Katie Notopoulos: Mad Internet Scientist
Melaina: Creepy Internet Friend
(First Hand Account from Washington, D.C.)
Post Script

{photo by Heather Spohr}


Feed Me Seymour