(This is a modified repost I wrote four years ago)
I grew up on the East Coast and my father made the commute from Connecticut into New York City for many years.Since the horrific events of September 11, 2001, I’ve made it a point to travel when I can to NYC to support the theater and the arts, and to support the people who live in this still-fractured place.
Every time I've gone, I've made it a point to talk to the New York City cab drivers.I get in the taxi, tell them where I need to go, and then ask, “Were you driving on 9/11?”
I have never found cab drivers so talkative, so willing to talk, so needing to talk.And without exception, 100% of the drivers I’ve asked over the years were indeed driving on 9/11.
Without further prompting, each one of them told me their stories, rushing their words out, speaking in excited tones.They talked until they reached my destination and even then, I would sit with my hand on the door handle, listening to them for as long as it took. It seemed as if they wanted to make sure I understood how horrible it was, how they still suffered from nightmares, waking up with hearts pounding and sweat pouring down their bodies immersed in New York City midnight black nights.
One of the drivers told of how he had saved for years to own his own cab and how he was at the World Trade Centers that September morning after having dropped off a passenger right before the second plane hit.e sat in his beloved cab stunned, watching the unfolding confusion, trying to decide what to do. And he talked of the shock and the sudden urgency when it dawned on him that his life was in danger.