I cried, and cried as I walked down that street to the barricade on Broadway. I thanked my sunglasses for hiding my tears,
until I reached the barricade and saw other people standing there like zombies. Then I realized they were not looking at the
scene like tourists, but as me, shocked and horrified some also crying. I then remembered my camera, and shot a few pictures.
The fatigue clad soldier, stopped no one from taking pictures. He just gently kept saying
"Please keep moving".
And that's what we did. We wound our way along Broadway, past another cross street that afforded a view
down into 'The Pile'. I looked up and saw one of the neighboring buildings draped in a black netting. The 30+ story building
didn't look damaged and it seemed this was to ensure it's facade would remain protected. As I clicked another picture, the
view through my lens made me think of the building clothed in a shroud, crying for it's fallen brethren.
What I found amazing was that the crowd behaved more like a procession than a crowd. There was no shoving,
no impatience, no anger or laughter. People 3, 4 deep, just kept walking the barricade. Some paused longer than others to
pray, to cry, to leave a flower at one of the many memorial pictures pasted to light poles and tarps and boards along the
barricade. One man lit a candle. I continued to cry as I took my photos of The Pile. Even tourists were reserved. Staring,
the only words were "is that where they stood?" meaning the Twin Towers.
At Rector Street, we hit the southern perimeter of the barricade. It was there that another haunting
image reared it's head. The newscasters have all shown us the remaining piece of the South Tower's facade. It has now also
appeared in numerous magazines and has almost become the 'logo' for this whole tragedy. However, the view I had from the south
was slightly different from that stock photo. What I saw was an open lattice work that echoed the lines of the architecture
of a great cathedral. High arches, all in a row, where stained glass windows would be contained. It was an awe inspiring sight!