Seven years and a few days ago, I was awoken by my roommate after a typical late night at work, getting another edition of the newspaper out. She told me there was something on TV that I needed to see, so I wandered somewhat resentfully into the living room. What I saw was one of the familiar World Trade Center buildings — just one — with smoke and flames pouring out the sides.

Even to my sleep-muddled mind, the horrific realities of the situation set in quickly. I was only a year removed from having lived in New York City for a summer, and still had a few friends and acquaintances who called the city home.

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