Never Forget by
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Some of the things I witnessed 20 years ago during that awful September week in New York are seared in my memory and I’ll never forget. (See  9/11)

The disbelief and horror as we watched TV news clips of a plane hitting the south tower of the World Trade Center,   then the tower in flames,  and then another plane hitting the north tower.

And a friend’s brother who worked blocks from the towers telling us later that he saw the jumpers with his own eyes.

And a man selling American flags from the back of a pickup truck on an eerily quiet East 86th Street.

And the smell of smoke that lingered in the air for days,  even in my uptown neighborhood 10 miles from Ground Zero.

And the prayer meeting at our synagogue when a sobbing friend rose to speak about his childhood friend who died on the hijacked plane that crashed in a Pennsylvania field.

And days later when the games resumed at Yankee Stadium,  pledging to the flag from the stands,  and watching President Bush throw out the first ball.

And later in the week when Lincoln Center reopened,  the City Opera conductor asking the audience to rise and then leading us in God Bless America.   And all of us singing a cappella through our tears along with the costumed cast standing up on the stage in front of the curtain.

Then the orchestra started playing the overture,   the curtain went up,   and the opera began.

Dana Susan Lehrman

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Tags: Sept 11 Terrorist Attack, 9/11
Characterizations: moving, well written


  1. Khati Hendry says:

    I was in Greece on 9-11,, and then Turkey, so saw it all at an odd distance. Everyone was glued to small screen TV. But it was heartwarming to see how people from all over the world shared, for a while, the sense of disbelief, horror and compassion. A guard at a museum in Turkey started crying and telling us he would fight for us when he found out we were Americans.

  2. Laurie Levy says:

    Like you, I think I sang God Bless America many times following the attack. The kids sang it for the rest of the year at the preschool. We even had small American flags for them to wave. Where did all of that go in the 20 years since that day?

  3. Marian says:

    A poignant set of memories from one so geographically close to what happened, Dana. I loved how you concluded with the opera beginning. A sliver of hope.

  4. Suzy says:

    Nice that it was a song by a Jewish immigrant that brought everyone together back then. Nowadays Republicans would probably refuse to sing it. Or am I being too cynical?

  5. John Shutkin says:

    Amazing, poignant memories, Dana. Thank you for sharing them with us. And, sadly, I share Suzy’s cynicism about the “God Bless America” — though I think most Republicans associate it with the flag waving singer Kate Smith rather than the Jewish immigrant Irving Berlin.

  6. From what I have observed up close and personal, New Yorkers experience a unique form of PTSD as a result of their proximity to the events of 9/11.

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