Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Monday, February 05, 2018



I was in New York City on 9/11/01. I heard the sirens, saw people walking and running uptown horrified and dusted with white ash. I had seen the television pictures of the planes hitting the Twin Towers and the crumbing concrete and iron. The fires created molten iron and thick dust.  All the bridges and tunnels getting out of Manhattan were closed. The George Washington, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queensboro bridges were all blocked off. The Holland, Lincoln and Mid-Town Tunnels were closed also.

I was in New York for a meeting. My daughters lived in New England. They were planning on seeing me. I live in San Francisco, having come a long way to go to the meeting and visit my family.

How can I get out of Manhattan, I wondered? I was born raised and educated in New York City. I knew the city very well.  I remembered an obscure iron bridge spanning the Harlem River connecting upper Manhattan to the Bronx. The bridge entered the Bronx at the gates of the old Yankee Stadium. I thought that Bridge was probably still open. I hired the last rental car available from Avis. I drove north through the jammed traffic to the top of Manhattan island. There it was the little cast iron bridge painted a cream color. Cars and trucks jammed onto the it. My turn came and I drove my car slowly across the bridge to the Bronx. I breathed a sigh of relief.

I drove through the Bronx, into Westchester and then Connecticut to New Haven where my daughter and three grandchildren lived. Haunted by the horror of the destruction and killing of innocent people, I had found a bridge that took me away from the place of pain and sorrow. I went on to a life of recollection seeking hope and compassion for so many who had suffered. I feared the inane reaction of the government to the attack. It was a changed world.


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