September 11, 2001 will always have a special meaning to me. It was the day I was given a second chance … a second chance to continue my life as a New Yorker, a wife, mother, daughter, friend and colleague. I am one of thousands of survivors of that day’s horrific events. My circumstance was just being in the wrong place at the wrong time—8:46 to be exact.

On this date, 11 years later, the ceremony at Ground Zero was smaller and more subdued. There were no speeches, no glad-handing politicians, no dignitaries. Instead family members were invited to participate but there was no formal seating. The names were read by them, but with little pomp and circumstance. It was an intimate gathering that will probably continue for years to come.

And yet … life went on. Traffic flowed, workers scurried to their offices in the sky and tourists gaped. Just like any other day. And yet. The sorrow in the air, the atmosphere of what was and what could have been was palpable and for those of us who gathered in remembrance, we said our own silent prayers and gave thanks for being able to see another day, another year, another decade dawn bright.

— Shari Hartford

Editorial Director