Ten years later

Patheos is publishing a number of essays to mark the 10-year anniversary of 9/11.

Mine begins on the morning after:

On the morning of September 12, 2001, I awoke to the sound of sirens.

My first thought, in bleary half-sleep:“Where am I?”

And then I knew.

I looked around at the pale walls of a high rise hotel on Manhattan’s west side, and remembered that almost 24 hours earlier, on a blindingly beautiful late summer morning, in the start of an otherwise ordinary day, my country and my city had been attacked. I was in a hotel room because it was impossible for me to get home and there was no place else for me to stay.

I climbed out of bed and looked out the window. It was a gorgeous day, just like the one before. On the sidewalk, a dozen or more stories below, there were people heading to work. I saw a few cars moving down below. And then the sirens got louder. An ambulance? A fire truck? The sound grew and then faded. I picked up my watch from the table by the bed. It was just after 7 a.m.

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