This is the day.
I remember the day. I remember how blue the sky was, how clear it was, as I stood on the bow of the ferry as it crossed the Hudson from Jersey City to lower Manhattan. I remember how bright the sun was. I remember the walk from the ferry slip, through the Winter Garden, up to the 28th floor of Three World Financial Center. I remember turning on my computer, sitting down to work when there was that noise. The noise I still cannot describe. I remember stuff on fire, great big pieces of building, falling outside. I remember standing in the corner conference room with Deborah Kinirons, Susan Burns, Scott Reeves, gawking at the great big hole ripped into the north tower belching fire, and smoke, and paper.
I remember American Express telling us not to evacuate. I remember trying to call my wife and finding there was no cell phone service. I remember a sound, that second plane. I remember seeing it bank, seeing the sun shine through the windows, hearing the engines roar. Watching it disappear into the south tower only 30 floors above our heads. I remember fire, and smoke. A sound I can never describe.
I remember running down 30 flights of stairs and not being winded. I remember the look of fear, glass and debris on the streets, people covered with blood. Terror. Panic. Chaos. I remember standing in a crowd in front of the New York Mercantile Exchange, looking up at the burning towers.
Watching people die. Oh, I remember that.
I remember getting my radio out, turning to the CBS station. Listening. A crowd gathering around me. Another plane had crashed into the Pentagon. More jetliners were unaccounted for. This must be the end of the world, someone said.
It did feel that way. In that place, it did feel that way.
More than anything, I remember being met by God that day. The risen Jesus, who in the midst of the fire and the fear and the death told me: "My love is all that matters." And: "This is who I am."
"This is who I am." In fear, and death, and absolute powerlessness. "This is who I am."
This is the day. This is the day.
~ Charles H. Featherstone responded to faith in Christ during the 9/11 tragedy.