After 9/11, some people from our Staten Island office are temporarily transferred to our office, as the phone system there has been disrupted by the attacks. They are polite enough, but somber and keep to themselves. No one ever smiles and you can see their wild-eyed devastation. A bus has been chartered for them, and they arrive and leave as a group.
I’ve been to the Staten Island office. Recently even. It’s right on the water, with a grand view of New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty, and the WTC beyond. A month earlier I had been working on a project there. For two weeks I took the PATH to WTC , ate breakfast in the Concourse, and took the subway to the ferry. What if my project was a month later? It’s a thought that still pops into my head now and then.
Most of the Islanders are here voluntarily, but I hear about one woman whose transfer was mandatory. A newlywed, her husband was in the WTC when the towers fell and now she could not stop crying where she was. I wonder how many more share her story?