This afternoon

This afternoon
: The ceremony ended, the last name read, the children sang America, The Beautiful, silence came. And no one left.

We just just stood at the grates, still staring ahead at the site, unwilling to leave for another year.

: I have to praise the city for this year’s ceremony and circumstances. Last year, we were kept away from the site and could hear nothing. This year, we were able to stand on Church St., the former border, and the city set up speakers so we could hear everything.

: Inside a fence around the site, family members and others came by to leave their memories.

They left flowers and pictures and signs.

One man in a suit spent a very long time making sure that a picture of his lovely loved one was properly posted. And then he hurried away. Others stayed and hugged and cried.

People feel compelled to leave their tributes. I do hope that becomes an essential element of the memorial that will be built here. We need that.

: TV crews were as thick as thieves, all of them trying to snatch little scenes of humanity, little bits of emotion. I’m not complaining. It’s their job and it’s a damn site better than PBS (see below).

: Behind the grate where all the flowers were, there were stacks and stacks of steel: The rebuilding stops only for a day.

Yet around the site, there are still buildings — Deutsche Bank, the Post Office, the Verizon building — that are still wounded.

But inbetween two of them, 7 World Trade Center is rising again. Its steel is just arriving.

: Last year, the Salvation Army gave out water. This year, they gave out water and tissues.

: And now I have to run uptown: business. Life continues. It is changed forever, but it certainly continues. Later.