I don't know if I'll ever be able to hear sirens without thinking of that day in September.
I was living in Brooklyn at the time, and heard the first, then the second planes hit, and the roar and rush of the towers falling.
"This is the day the world changes," I told my wife, who was recovering
from having her wisdom teeth pulled out and didn't want to hike to the
river. "Everything is going to be different now."
By the time we reached the Promenade, across the river from Manhattan, the lower part of the island was covered in a brown cloud. Streams of dusty, shocked people were walking across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Later that day we watched the plume of smoke, which seemed to be arcing right over our street, bearing thousands of tiny white fluttering bits of paper. 'Souls,' I thought at the time. 'They look like souls.'
The pile burned for weeks. Every day when I took the subway home from work, I'd walk up the stairs and smell charred concrete, burnt insulation carried across the river... What else was I breathing in?
Never forget? I don't think I could, even if I wanted to.