New York City's 'Tribute In Light' to the victims of the 9/11 attacks shines from One World Trade into the sky …On Sept. 11, 2001, I was in Hyderabad, India for my grandfather's funeral. There were rolling black-outs that night (India is about 10 hours ahead of New York) so no one was watching the news when someone called to say that a plane had hit one of the twin towers in New York.
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We thought it was a sick joke. Who makes up something like that? It had to be a joke, because it was too outrageous to be true. The power was out, so we ran for our cars, to turn on the radios and find out for ourselves.
Then the second plane hit.
My brothers and I all left India on different days and we all ended up stuck in Amsterdam when the airlines grounded the flights. My younger brother had gotten there first, so after my youngest brother and I talked our way onto the last flight out of Mumbai, we camped out in his hotel room. I was an editor on the national news desk at the Boston Globe at the time, and ended up reporting on 9/11 from Europe while trying to get myself back to Boston. It took me more than a week to get home.
Since then, I've reported on and read stories about healing and hope. About people like Lee Ielpi, a New York City firefighter who lost his son, also a New York City firefighter, when the towers fell, but channeled his grief into creating the Tribute WTC Visitor's Center. About a military couple who chose to get married on 9/11 to make it a day of happiness instead of horror. I am filled with gratitude for those who rushed toward the chaos that day, to volunteer and help. And I think about the 2,977 people who died that day in New York, in Pennsylvania, at the Pentagon, on the planes, and the 24 still listed as "missing," 11 years later.
Where were you on 9/11?
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