October After 9/11/01, A Different New York

This is history, and  I think meaningful, at least to me. There are so many challenges we are going through today, similar to these days in October 2001. 


In October, 2001, I had two visits to New York. The first was a school  trip I had organized for families to the Bronx Zoo.  zoo_591

It was a Saturday and the bus was ordered,  all the money was collected, and no one was cancelling, so we went. It is a wonderful zoo set in acres and acres of an English landscape garden site.  I had gone there many times with my children and school children. It is not the San Diego Zoo, which has the reputation as the best zoo in the world, and I will not argue with that.  The Bronx Zoo can be  described in many ways, but that day, about a month after the attack on 9/11, it was somber.  Yes, there were children and families there viewing the habitats, picnicking , but even the children were subdued and quiet.  And it was not crowded as on all the other times I had visited.  I did call my husband to check the news as I thought something else terrible might  have  happened and  we would not know.  My  mind began  to think of things because of the terrible  attack the month before, but  all  was quiet on the news.

Several weeks later, David and I went to New York because we had bought Off-Broadway season tickets earlier in the summer and it was time for the first play. This was our first trip into the city after 9/11.  The Bronx Zoo is in New York but in the burrow of the Bronx quite a distance from Manhattan.

As we were walking around Manhattan, something seemed very different….and it was the quiet…everywhere.  In the city that never sleeps there had always been noise, of people talking, walking , arguing, horns beeping, and cabs screeching down the streets.  Now, there were people on the streets, all quietly walking or talking in a soft voices.  There were no horns honking. It was the quiet of death or shock or a little of both. We walked on quietly , too.


We soon drew near a crowd standing  in two lines from a building to the street. Soon we saw a firetruck beginning to back into the station.  There are lots of small  neighborhood stations throughout the city. They are narrow in width  often only the width  + extra for one or two trucks. to park.  After they return from a call,  they back into the the parking place, facing out to  the street , ready to go on a moment’s notice.  First  , we noticed the black mourning wreath on the front of the engine. 628x471 (1)

Next we  saw the shrine of remembrance of fallen heroes.

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Just as the truck began backing into the firehouse, one person, then two, an another  until all the people beside the moving truck began clapping in a somber cadence. Thanking the brave, selfless firemen, remembering  the fallen , thanking the living.  After the truck was back in the station, David and I walked on, neither speaking. I couldn’t because I was silently crying.  My family always teases me about my tender heart being touched to tears by  just about anything.  I figured David would say” Don’t be a crybaby”, but instead I heard a big snuff from him as we moved down the street. He,too, had been touched to tears.  Seeing the sophisticated, often hard New Yorkers showing authentic appreciation and not bothering that anyone could see them was indeed touching. As we walked on towards the theater, we noticed something else unusual. article-oil-1112 There were flags waving from most every building we passed.  Again the urbane New Yorkers were not known for their patriotism.  We had never seen that before.  Indeed another show of appreciation of what America is built on …..Freedom, democracy, the constitution , and government by and for the people.


Even at the New York Stock Exchange, Old Glory flies. stockexchange20w-1-web

Thinking of something to take away from this time in history, my thoughts are that I don’t know why or how all this happened and what could have been  done differently. But what I will take away is that  life is very fragile and fleeting, and precious, and it can be taken away or changed forever in an instant. We never know when we get up each morning.  We only have, however fleeting, the choice of how we use this  life.

. . .. . .This Is the Aftermath of 9/11 in New York City

What do you think? 

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
This entry was posted in Architecture, Uncategorized, USA and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to October After 9/11/01, A Different New York

  1. annetbell says:

    Reblogged this on TalesAlongTheWay and commented:

    Here is the rest of my 9/11 story which seems as relevant to me today as it was in real time.


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