Ten years ago, on a cool and cloudless morning very much like this one, I ran into an old friend on Brookline Avenue in front of the Boston Phoenix. She told me there had been a terrible accident — a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York.
I headed up to the newsroom, and in a few moments, it was clear that there had been no accident. As there was no television set, I barreled home. On NPR, as I was on the loop ramp connecting Storrow Drive with the Tobin Bridge, I heard the shocked description of the first building collapsing. Not long after, I turned on the TV and watched the rest of the day and well into the evening. I stayed up all night and wrote this.
The following April, I was in Hoboken, N.J. — another clear, sunny day, though unseasonably hot and humid. I was early, so I made my way to Frank Sinatra Drive and took in the Manhattan skyline — looking to the right, the south, where the World Trade Center should have been.
That evening, City Council president Anthony Soares, whom I had come to interview for my book “Little People,” told me that Hoboken had been hit unusually hard by the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Indeed, according to this account in the Hudson Reporter, Hoboken lost 57 people — “the most of any ZIP code in the United States.”
Personally, I was very lucky. We lost no family members, no friends. The attack remains the most stunning event of my lifetime. My heart goes out to those who did lose someone on that terrible day.