The toughest assignment that I had during journalism school was not the midnight cop ride-a-long in Washington Heights, nor was it attending public court and trying to get quotes from legal teams or stopping bikers on the Williamsburg Bridge at rush hour, it was covering the 3rd year anniversary of 9/11.
I was too emotionally attached to be an observational writer. I didn't want to be there at the church for the memorial ceremony, I hated having to go up to those who were grieving and ask how they felt, which is why I got a lower grade on my resulting article. I simply refused to intrude on the personal moments of the grievers who lost immediate family during the terrorist attacks. I’ve lost people—not in the attacks, but I recognized their pain and anguish on their faces and I just backed away or cried when I attempted to even approach. Instead, like many others in the church, I hung on the words of our leaders for hope. The eloquent quotes from politicians like Gov. Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg still ring true on the 5th year anniversary as it did then and still give me chills. Here's what I wrote and saw.
Sept. 11, 3rd year anniversary. Port Authority Workers Remembered
By Tara Renee Settembre
One block north of Ground Zero, as the city's church bells tolled in the background, hundreds gathered for a noon Interfaith Remembrance Service at St. Peter’s Church in Lower Manhattan on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2004
The service, at New York state’s oldest Catholic parish, which only three years before was covered with dust inside and out, honored the Port Authority employees who were killed that day.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey lost 84 of its members in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Three years later their memories are far from forgotten (read more).
Working on Wall Street
Here are the views that I take in on my way to work in Lower Manhattan, I find them pretty inspiring and powerful, especially on this anniversary.
And sadly, the large dents on the side of this building on Wall Street are from the September 11th debris. I pass and look at these chunks each day: