In September 2001, I was working as a temp at in the publicity department at Miramax Films in New York City. It was a short-term gig to make some cash, while launching Girls Fight Back on the side. At the time I was living in Hoboken, NJ (located just across the Hudson River) and I commuted each day via PATH train to the World Trade Center. From there, I had a short walk or subway ride to my office in Tribeca, a neighborhood in lower Manhattan.
Each morning I would get off the underground PATH train, and walk to the longest, tallest escalator ever…which took me up to ground level at WTC. While standing on that escalator – which I swear took at least 5 solid minutes to ride to the top – there was a huge jumbotron to look at. It was super wide and bright, similar to what adorns the back wall at a major league baseball game. Every day it had fun little cartoons and advertisements. My favorite was this dancing, golden sun that said “Good morning!” The happy sun did somersaults and winked at me. It made me smile, every single day.
Ten years later, I miss the grandiosity of the WTC. I miss the 2,977 innocent people we lost that day – even though I never met them. I miss feeling safe in my country. And I miss that impish, frolicking sun who reminded me that each day was meant to be lived with a grin.
Now it’s my responsibility to remind myself how precious each day is, and 9/11 certainly provided a poignant reminder of just how fragile we are.
Yes, today is a sad day. But if we sit alone in the dark, paralyzed with fear by a memory – that’s when the bad guys win.
Today and always, do this world a favor and shine on.