As 2012 comes to a close, with 2013 within sight, I want to take this opportunity to thank the fire community and all the wonderful families, organizations and firefighters I have had the honor to meet over these past three years. My respect for what firefighters do and how they do it has only grown. Last weekend I took the opportunity to go to the New York State Museum in Albany specifically to see their 9/11 exhibit. I stayed to listen to every word of every video played, all spoken by firefighters.
I lived in New York City for more than 20 years, from after college until I moved to Colorado in 1994. During those years my brother Gary (a very good black and white photographer) visited me twice. Somehow from among the very few pics I have from those visits, two include the World Trade Center. The first was taken around 1975 and is on the observation deck. That’s me in the long skirt.
The other photo is from his second trip in 1985 and was taken from the roof of my apartment building on Thompson Street.
I used to jog on the old elevated West Side Highway from Houston down to the WTC, sit for a break, then jog back north. I loved the horizontal panorama along the Hudson in what was otherwise a vertical city. I had dinner at the Roof of the World a few times, and one especially memorable date in the bar. Once I went there in the fog, like being in another world, the city below erased by clouds.
Now it all forever means something else. After these past three years, and learning these 343 firefighters face by face if not in person, it means something else again and I am changed. After meeting so many hundreds of firefighters and their families, I am enriched. It is especially to this amazing, tough, tender and resilient community that I send the warmest of New Year wishes and my unending gratitude. Thank you.
Happy New Year. Stay low.