Today is the 19th anniversary of the tragedy of 911 in NYC, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania. I remember that day, and those that followed vividly. No one I knew closely was hurt or died that day. But I remember exactly where I was–what road and which curve on that road, when the radio announced the first plane hit the twin towers. They didn’t know until a few minutes later, when a second plane hit, that it was an act of terrorism. I was on my way to my grant writing job, and my boss had taken off that morning, on his way to Long Island, in his single engine Cessna. He was a pilot and was grounded most of the day, until they did finally let small aircraft that passed security checks, fly home. All the major airplanes though, were grounded for days. It was shocking of course, and none of us could really do any work for days after, glued to the television news. There were many horrors and many acts of bravery that day. Maybe a week later, there was a ceremony to remember those lost, in Niagara Square in Buffalo, and I walked down from my apartment in the Elmwood Village, along with hundreds of others. There was a steady stream of us. I remember the feelings of solidarity among the crowd, the tears, the flock of doves they released at the end.
One of the ways people express themselves after an event like this, is through art and writing. I found some poems collected by the Library of Congress, one of which was by a favorite poet of mine, Robert Creeley (who taught at UB and was very generous with other poets, including me). His poem is titled: Ground Zero