When I rounded that corner, I stopped and could only stare because I was unprepared for the reality of this. It is very easy to be horrified at the thought of 5,400 missing, yet very difficult to visualize exactly what that means. Is that a concert hall full of people? A football stadium? Just how many is that, exactly?
Seeing entire streets full of pleas, requests, each face attached to a history and a family who loves them -- that is something completely and utterly different.
I could never bring myself to go into the city in the days following September 11. I knew that wall was there, I knew I would have to look. And I knew that my heart would break if I were to names and faces to all the statistics.
Now, one year later, I have looked and I know. My heart breaks a little for each of them, for their families, the same way it does when I hear of any death. But to see so much heartache at once is overwhelming. Which is why, one year later, it still hurts.
picture taken by Roe of Metrocake