It's now been four days since my world was shattered, and like the past three, I have to decide how I'm going to act today.
Am I going to grieve? Can I help in any way? Is it possible to give blood? Should I go to ground zero and search through the rubble? Donate? Should I still eat and sleep and run my little errands as if nothing has happened?
I'm going to grieve, and help, and give blood, and search through the rubble, and donate what I can, and eat and sleep, and run my little errands, and live my life.
Tuesday, someone tried to kill me. Someone tried to kill all of us, because those assholes who arranged a hijacking of both our planes and our freedom would have popped champagne if the whole city and whole country had gone up in one giant mushroom cloud. But we didn't. We're alive. And we have to act like it.
This week, I mourned. I mourned the people we lost. I mourned the clean air we lost. I mourned the skyline we lost. But I will not mourn my way of life. That, unlike the people who tried to take it from me, will remain very much alive.
I'll admit that I cried on Tuesday. At first, I was crying for the thousands of people killed in this horrible tragedy. Then, I cried because I, my family, and my close friends, were spared. At least physically.
It's going to take us time to get over this. But we've done it before. No one is scared to go to Hawaii because of Pearl Harbor, no one fears Oklahoma because of Timothy McVeigh, and despite what happened just 8 years ago, 50,000 people intended to go to work in the World Trade Center, not worried of what might happen. Fear is a weapon of cowards, and like every coward before them, the people who did this will be destroyed before they have a chance to reload.
I am proud to be a New Yorker. I am proud to be an American. I am proud to be a human with enough compassion to see that an unwarranted attack on any innocent person is wrong. And I am proud and thankful to be alive right now, and frankly, breathing is not enough.
I will not ignore what happened Tuesday, and I don't think anyone should. But I will infuse what happened into my daily life the life that I will continue to lead. Some people have said that what happened makes you better understand the important things in life. But I think the little things are what's important cooking a good meal, watching a game, reading to a child. These are the parts of our lives that we've fought so hard for, and we will continue to defend as long as there are people out there that don't understand why this is all so important to us.
We will sift through the wreckage and find survivors. We will clean up our streets and our skies so that New York and Washington DC are as strong and as vibrant as ever. And we will rebuild what was taken from us, both physically and emotionally, because New Yorkers, Americans, and humans are so much more resilient than those terrorist monsters would ever give us credit for.
Personally, I'd love to see five buildings built in the place of the World Trade Center. Four at the same height and one great tower in the middle to stand for all time as a giant middle finger to whomever thought that they could bring us down.
So grieve. Help. Give blood. Search through the rubble. Donate. Eat. Sleep. Run your little errands. And live your life. It's the quickest way to beat those who tried to take it from you.