September 11th, 2012 by Jan

We all have our 9/11 memories. Mine includes a PAWMA camp, 12 Maori women warriors who were stranded from their home for over two weeks, and living with us until they could get home together.

Last year on this date I was in NYC with Joe and Sandie. The entire city was a bustle even more than it normally is. It was the tenth anniversary of the towers coming down and people were sharing their stories. Police and firemen were standing on every corner, all wearing their dress uniforms, posing for photos with tourist and accepting sincere gratitude from everyone. Cop cars were everywhere and made their presence known by hitting the siren and making U-turns at random intervals.

People walked with their heads up, and I realized in NYC these days, everyone looks you in the eye. I don’t see that kind of connection walking the lake or in the cove on Bowen Island!

As horrific as 9/11 was on the people in the city, the after math has brought the place together in such a way that in a city of 8 million, no one walks alone; people care. It seems like everyone is willing to get involved. People speak out and look out. I have never felt safer in a city as I do in Manhattan. I also know there are cameras everywhere, so even if you think no one is watching — someone is.

It was my experience that if you looked lost or were just gazing at a building or some sight, someone would join you; they either asked if you needed help or would stand and share in the joy and wonder of the spectacle.

Last year, when crossing a street a woman fell at the curb. As I leaned down to give her my arm, I was joined by three others who shared genuine concern for her wellbeing. No one left her side until they were sure she was all right and on her feet again.

We talk of the importance of community – NYC is one of the greatest communities I’ve ever been a part of.

Today on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, I salute the service people who ran towards danger and not away from it. They set an example and we learned.

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