I remember where I was that day, as all of us do. I was working in my finance job, sitting in my cubicle on the sixth floor of the building. One of my friends emailed me about the Twin Towers and I jumped onto the internet to get more information. But the CNN site was backlogged... refresh, refresh, refresh... news flowing slowly. A few of us went into one of the boardrooms and plugged in the TV. We stood there silently, not wanting to believe what we were seeing there on the screen.
I remember going back to my desk and looking out the window. People were starting to chatter that maybe Toronto could be a target too. What should we do? Should we leave our tall towers and seek some relative safety on the street below? Our office closed early that day and I remember the silent, sombre ride home on the subway. The streets were quieter, people walking with their heads down in a rush to get somewhere, anywhere but here.
Back in my apartment, I sat on the sofa and sat glued to the TV the rest of the day, a constant stream of tears flowing down my face.
Ten years later, those feelings rise up and still put my heart in my throat. The flood of information we have today is a stark contrast to what I remember. So many things are different. My life is different, my job and family too. But what remains the same is my feeling, my need to believe, that in our heart of hearts, humanity is good. That we are all the same at some level. That sharing a collective grief can lead to more compassion and understanding towards one another. That's what I hold on to.