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September 11

I did not know any of the people who died in the attacks of September 11.
I woke that morning eighteen years ago to the sound of my roommate's screams. We took her transistor radio and climbed the fire escape of our Brooklyn apartment. From the roof we watched the towers burn. With my brother-in-law we saw the second tower collapse on live TV. The first tower had fallen on our walk over to my sister's apartment. She was teaching at the time in Morningside Heights. Only a half hour passed between the collapse of the first tower and the second, yet one of the clear memories I have of that surreal morning was trying to wrap my head around the unfathomable strangeness of a New York City skyline with only one of the twin towers. By 10:30, of course, both towers were gone. The loss of life was something I hadn't begun to process.
The subways were down, the phones weren’t working. We walked to meet up with those we could find on this side of the river. By that evening the subways w…

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