This day is a very sad day for me. I'm a native New Yorker from the Bronx. I grew up seeing the lower Manhattan skyline and visiting the old World Trade Center towers.
The day before that tragic event of September 11, 2001, I was at the old Yankee Stadium to see the New York Yankees face their bitter rivals, the Boston Red Sox. The game wasn't played due to a huge rain storm that drenched the field and left massive puddles on the outfield grass. It seemed likely to be the most significant event of the week.
I went to bed expecting simply to get up, get ready for work, and enjoy my day. Then a friend of mine called me up from Orlando and asked me if I was watching TV. I said no; he told me to turn it on. I thought there was a new attraction at Disney World opening. I saw one of the World Trade Center towers on fire.
Shortly thereafter, a second airliner flew around the buildings, then struck the second tower.
This day has been significant to me ever since, as it has for many millions of people. It is a day of sorrow for me: a day of thinking about those who lost their lives, their family, their friends, the first responders, police and firefighters.
I have visited the memorial. It is a strange experience. Surrounded by the hustle and bustle that New York City has always had and that 9/11/01 did not alter, it is very quiet it by the two giant squares that once held the buildings that fell. They are an unexpected clearing in a jungle of skyscrapers.
Fifteen years on, I know I cannot forget. I often remember the last time I was in the area when the towers were still standing. It was five days before the attack. I was dropping off my fee for the bus trip to see MetroStars take on New England Revolution. It was a routine journey: PATH to downtown Manhattan to walk over to Nathan Hale's, the Empire Supporters Club hangout at the time. Drop off the payment, and turn around for a PATH back to Hoboken. Just another day's errand.
Watching ESC chant and cheer on 9/11/16 as RBNY took on D.C. United, I think about that day: the last day I remember when that part of town was the way it should be.
I shall never forget. No one in this area shall forget, nor shall any American forget the tragic events of September 11, 2001. God Bless America.