I published the following post on Whiskertips in January 2010.

The night before leaving for New England, we stayed at the Millennium Hilton, across the street from where the World Trade Center had stood.

The hotel was damaged in the 9/11 attack and at one time was believed to be in danger of collapse.

I sat outside that evening with my journal, not writing, just looking across the narrow street. Blue panels hid all but the booms and jibs of cranes. Passing pedestrians seemed to take no notice. Except for signs identifying the area, it could have been any other construction site.

I wondered whether any of the current hotel staff had been working on 9/11. I wanted to ask but felt the question would be an invasion of privacy.  The building  has been repaired, but people who experience that kind of horror aren’t so easily healed.

The next morning, I took photos of the site from our room.

Every Word Is a New Idea

Ground Zero, October 2009

“We say that our way of life was attacked on September 11. What we mean is that our words were attacked — our sauntering, freewheeling, raucous, stumbling, unbridled, unregulated, unorthodox words. All that we are in this country came out of words — 18th century words, 19th century words — which in turn wend their way back into a past that existed long before the first sentence of the Book of John. Every word is a new idea, and there is nothing like a new idea to counteract the stony madness of fanatics. If a man spends enough time in a library, he may actually change his mind. I have seen it happen.”

from “Ground Zero” by Roger Rosenblatt, Time, May 25, 2002