We live in an era of 'live' television, instant reports directly from the scene. We can see and hear the victims at the
moment they are impacted by a tragedy. We see them hurt, bleeding, crying, running for their lives. But it's not 'real'.
It is not only filtered through the lens of the one holding the camera, it lacks smell and touch along with the bodily sensation
of being in that specific physical place.
Like so many others I had to go to 'Ground Zero'. We each go for our own reasons. For me, I had lost not
a person, but a physical part of my life.The WTC and the area around it had been a special part of NYC to me. I had worked
down there, played down there, shopped down there, and retreated down there when I needed an escape to a beautiful place.
Within 2 hours it was vaporized. The TV images and the magazine pictures didn't suffice. In order to grieve, I needed to place
myself there and feel it in all it's reality.
Those who had made the trip say it is like nothing they had ever experienced. The place is surreal, they
say, and the 'live' television shots do not prepare you for the actuality. But there is more to what I now call 'a pilgrimage'
to Ground Zero.
The reality hit me as soon as I exited the subway train at Fulton Street Pungent, damp, burnt out building
smell. And odd, since the subway station itself showed no signs of smoke damage. Then I ascended the stairs, exited the entrance,
and almost threw up as the stench filled my nostrils. Not only was the wind blowing directly from the direction of the smoldering
part of 'The Pile', I entered the street facing in the direction where the first view I got was of the one remaining burnt
out shell of WTC number 5. It was like a skeleton standing defiantly amidst the