It still amazes me, even though it shouldn't: People by the thousands continue to flock to Ground Zero.
They come by cab, subway, limo, from out of town, uptown, across the river. They walk the perimeter, bordered by a chain link
fence, and in silence peer down into the pit, all 16 acres of it. Some talk, some stare and some even cry.
It's been 18 months since the Towers fell and Ground Zero came into existence. Today the people wend their
way around the edge: Vesey, Church, West and Liberty streets. Some climb into a covered pedestrian bridge that extends from
the Dow Jones Building on West Street to the southwest corner of the WTC site. From its windows, it's possible to look down
into the pit where the Twin Towers once stood. It's a parade of the curious, tinged with a huge amount of sadness.
Like Ground Zero itself, the border, the edges of this hallowed ground, have gone through numerous
changes. Immediately after 9/11 the entire lower Manhattan was shut off. By October when I made my first visit the border
was only a number of blocks around Ground Zero. But this was the time when what fenced it in had them most impact: Notes,
prayers, photos tacked to the plywood fencing. Candles left on the sidewalks, people jostling to get one peek through the
tiniest of cracks. Hushed silence. Lots of tears.