Northeast Intelligence Network
26 May 2010: Shortly after efforts turned from rescue to recovery at Ground Zero, I walked amid the rubble with a New York City police officer named “Mark.” It was just after daybreak over lower Manhattan, and the noxious odors of death, jet fuel and oppressive toxic dust still filled the air. We said nothing to each other as we stopped at the edge of a darkly stained area on the ground where bodies had fallen or people had jumped to their deaths. Debris and dust covered over portions of the grotesque paisley patterns that extended beyond yellow police tape that flapped in the morning breeze.
The NYPD officer was first to break the silence. “I remember the first one,” he said, referring to the February 26, 1993 bombing that killed 6 people and injured over a thousand more. “This time it’s going be a whole lot different,” he added. As we walked away from the area, he said that our response was going to be decisive. America was deeply wounded, but Americans were angry. And it seemed like we were united in our anger.
We were going to fight, prevail, rebuild and grow stronger. Standing there that morning, neither of us had any doubt that our leaders would not just avenge the deaths of 9/11, but take steps to make sure that such an attack would never happen again. We would emerge stronger and smarter.