I will never forget. I can no longer retain the statistics: how many died, how many tons of debris fell, the times of impact. I can no longer watch the replays of the brokenhearted wives and mothers, the blazing Towers, my city in tears. The images are forever burned onto our souls.
I will never comprehend the incalculable inhumanity that drove 19 men to senselessly slaughter the innocent.
But I will never forget the stories. The firefighters, police, and rescue workers, all who ran freely into that Morning of Terror.
I will never forget that there are countless stories we'll never hear, of co-workers sacrificing their own lives to help each other, or the stranger suddenly emerging from the choking smoke to assist one who stumbled.
I will never comprehend their anguish as each stared into the face of death.
I'm not a journalist. I didn't conduct any interviews, nor can I offer any words of consolation that haven't already been said by those far more eloquent.
But I will never forget.
Our Twin Communities of Breezy Point and Rockaway have been emotionally devastated by the Twin Towers disaster. Whether they were firemen or police, secretaries or bond traders, many who perished were the sons and daughters of the Irish and Italian working class. They were our neighbors, our friends and our Catholic school classmates.
Breezy Point and the Rockaways will be a bit more somber this summer. The salty sea air will mix with the salt in our tears. Yes, I know that time scars over the wound and life eventually reverts to its hectic pace. I can't save anyone or make it go away. All I can do is make a promise to the living and the dead.
I will never forget.
MARY LOU OLIN