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October 27, 2001

The long walk to Grond Zero...
I'm not sure at what point I came up with the novel idea of walking down the Ground Zero from Penn Station, but I think I grossly under-estimated the amount of time it would take to actually make the walk. Luckily, Jen and I took an early train into Penn Station (she would have killed me if we were late for the U2 concert). We took the 1:18 from Denville, arriving in New York around a quarter to three. Once we got off the train, we headed out into the streets and began walking south.
All along the way, the sidewalks were lined with vendors selling flags, pins, hats, shirts, photos, paintings. Everything patriotic and everything with the World Trade Center. There were also numerous make-shift memorials set up- with pictures, letters, flowers, candles. Some were on the side of buildings, the side of fences, on the sidewalk. The one that really stood out for me was the memorial in front of one of the fire stations that we passed. They had a memorial set up for one of their own who lost his life on September 11. It was a lot to absorb- both visually and emotionally.
It took us about and hour and fifteen minutes to walk down. We were going at a pretty good pace. Luckily we had our walking shoes one and the weather wasn't too cold. It was supposed to be freezing that night, but we lucked out. It was a little eerie because there was NOBODY in the streets as we walked down. It wasn't until right at Ground Zero that we ran into people. When we first got there, you could see the mobs of people standing, looking, taking pictures. We were able to get within a couple blocks. There was a lot that was blockaded and roped off.
People were climbing on top of wooden crates, the stoops of buildings- anything that would give them a better look at the twisted wreck beyond the barriers. Jen and I both took turns climbing on things, supporting each other so we didn't fall. It was a sight to behold. To see it in pictures is one thing. But to see it right in front of your face is so much more real. The wreck was just so extensive, so massively torn up. It's a lot to take in. I just remember thinking how massive of a wreck it was. You could tell that only something incredibly catastrophic could have caused this.

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