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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I Will ALWAYS Be A New Yorker – My September 11, 2001 Story (A touching story by Zilla Stevenson)

This is my personal story of September 11, 2001 and what happened after – as I experienced it 60 miles away from Ground Zero…

My father’s grandparents, (both sets) Irish Catholics, somehow managed to survive the Famine in Ireland which killed so many. They came to America to escape the oppression in Ireland and landed in New York City. It would be a hundred years before anyone in that family line ever moved out of the City to other places. My mother is from a tiny country called Grenada. She saw there were few opportunities for a young lady there, so she packed her bags and came to find the “American Dream” in New York City. She found it. She also found my father and it was love at first sight. They met at the famous Rainbow Room in NYC and were married a few months later.
They started their family in New York City and they started with nothing.
My parents managed to find success in their lives and eventually moved out of the City to give us kids some fresh air and a taste of the “good life”.
My father continued to work for the City until his retirement despite moving to the country and then the suburbs.
I grew up on Long Island in the shadow of New York City and made frequent trips into the City to see relatives and also to have fun. In sixth grade it was a rite of passage at my school to take a field trip to NYC. I got to go to South Street Seaport, and the Empire State Building. The highlight of the entire day was going up to the top floors of the magnificent World Trade Center, the Twin Towers. The view was incredible. To be at the top of the City looking down on the world is a memory I will always cherish. Even from the ground looking up at those buildings was an experience in itself. Nearly twice as tall as the tallest buildings, they were! As a teen, taking the train into Manhattan and wandering around the village or seeing a concert at Madison Square Garden was the most fun you could have on a Friday or Saturday night.
When I grew up, I eventually left the Island and moved to where I live now, in the Hudson Valley, about 45 minutes north of the City.
You can tell a person is a New Yorker by the way we refer to it as “the City” and are understood that “the City” means no other City but New York City itself.
I remember well that terrible day when the world as we knew it was changed forever. The day we collectively lost our innocence – September 11, 2001. This is the day as I experienced it…

Read how Zilla lived the events