Remembering 9/11

Former New York Times Reporter Remembers 9-11

9-11Nichole

By Nichole M. Christian WDET

I was a reporter for The New York Times based in Brooklyn. I thought the biggest event of my day would be shadowing Democratic mayoral candidate Mark Green.

By the time the second plane hit, I was racing, on foot, toward the Brooklyn Bridge, gripped by every reporter's first instinct: go, get to the scene. With my police-issued press pass, a notebook and a $2 painter's mask, I figured I'd walk into lower Manhattan to help gather what I could of the story. But when I reached the foot of the bridge, I found the story sprinting towards me, in the droves upon droves of office workers fleeing into Brooklyn.

Every September 11th, I return to that memory and the shock of seeing so many dust-covered faces. I also reminisce about the ripples of spontaneous kindness that I saw, as stranger aided stranger, collapsing on the streets together, in grief and in gratitude for the fortune of having survived. I'm grateful to have been a witness and I like to think 9/11 made me a better journalist, more compassionate and more committed.

I do know this: I learned to pause on 9/11 and to eventually accept that the journalist's sacred "story" is not everything. Living life well and in connection to others is one of the highest tributes any of us can pay to those killed that heart-wrenching day.

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