NYC Day 22: “Lady, It’s My Job to Go in There”




About the title of this post. Continued from my immediately preceding one.


According to a woman who survived the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11, later interviewed about her experiences, that’s what a young firefighter (“who looked like he couldn’t be more than 19 years old”) said when she spoke to him, urging him not to go inside the building. Telling him that there was nothing he could do.


When I heard that particular recording, I had to leave the historical exhibit of the 9/11 Memorial Museum and get some air.


It’s harrowing. The memorial and the museum have their critics. But that one recording — the way her voice breaks as she recalls that encounter at the base of the tower, a scene that she (and now I) will never forget — makes such criticism seem beside the point.


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