Like most Americans, my memories of 9/11 invoke deep emotions. I wrote a short piece based on one account of that dreadful morning.
At the 34th floor, firefighters with set chins and mournful eyes carry axes and oxygen tanks up the stairwell. “Keep moving ma’am,” one of them says as I inch downward. My supervisor, Carl, says the opposite: “We’re all clear to return to the office.” He nods and my coworkers retrace their steps to the floor marked 76.
Some instinct keeps me moving away from my desk and out onto the crowded sidewalk where I turn to look back at the cathedral of commerce. Flames lick at its body and plumes of smoke belch from its wounds. The sky fills with shards of glass and shreds of paper and I moan the sound of three thousand human souls.