Katie’s Emails


Tuesday, September 11, 2001 12:45 PM

Subject: total insanity

  Hi all


  I am ok, no NYU buildings were damaged in the blast, although some of   the residence halls were evacuated and some kids are now living in our building because theirs is blocked off.  NYC is total insanity at the present moment. I was up on west 76th   street at  the Natural History Museum when i got word that the World trade Center  had been attacked. At first they were telling us we were confined to   the building because it was not safe to be on the street. later on, we   were evacuated, along with all other government buildings. I had  nowhere to go.  didn't know anyone there, i was like a hundred blocks from home, and   there was no information to be found. i could see the smoke and debris   rising from  between the buildings in the distance. the subways were closed, the   taxi drivers all decided to go home. I finally got on a bus and rode   to 59th street, which took over an hour, even though it is only 13   blocks. i got off  in times square, which looked like a refugee camp, with everyone   filling the  streets and staring up at the giant TV screen. I decided to walk back   to NYU. I wanted to find a payphone, but there was no service in   Manhattan. Nobody's cell phone worked, because the cellular receiver   had been at the top of the World trade Center, which by that time was   no more. I walked faster and faster, heading downtown through the   throngs of people heading the opposite way. People filled the streets.   Rumors flew, among them  that the brooklyn bridge had been blown up, that the president was   dead, that he had declared war, and that Manhattan was going to be   fire bombed. I finally found a  pay phone, waited a half an hour in   line, and called my parents. I was still twenty or so blocks away.  as   i passed 23rd street, i could smell the blast. the sky became less   bright, and when i breathed in I could  feel it in my teeth. people were passing out water, donuts, and   kleenex. Vans  were parked on every corner blasting out the news radio station.   still, nobody really knew what was going on. There was a call for   everybody with medical training to go to St Vincent's hospital in     Greenwich Village. Finally i got back to campus, which was the same     scene as the rest of new york. people were heading off in huge herds     to take pictures, give blood  and    just sit in the park and watch the smoke clear. The phone lines were a  mess.    the lines at the blood banks were several blocks long. Restaurants     were giving out free food, a guy stood on a crate with a sign that     said "free hugs." I made some phone calls, with varying success, and     went downstairs to  watch    CNN.    The fact of this thing still has not hit me. is this it? i don't know.     Nobody knows whats going on. Everybody at NYU is wandering around with     no direction, sitting alone or in groups, silent or nervously     chattering. Classes, of course, were cancelled, but we don't know for     how long.  I  think    eventually it will hit us, as we go down in twos and threes to look at     the torn up cityscape.  It's just so weird that my biggest concern     this  morning    was the subway making me late, and one hour later it was a     massive-scale terrorist attack on the city. Please write back to me or     call me. i want to hear everyone, ok?    Love always,        Katie      


 September 12. 3:47 AM


    I guess it is morning now, or at least that is what I should call it, even though it was night when I went to sleep forty minutes ago. At Saint Vincents Hospital they had us wear green rubber gloves and give out food to the stunned doctors and nurses on their breaks. There were a lot of different kinds of food, but the doctors and nurses came fast, and we soon had to talk about making food runs. The stores around there were empty of comfort food; there was no sugar, fat or snack to be had within a mile. We continued to push cookies, bagels and chili on the volunteer medical staff. While we handed it to them, we said things like, “thank you so much for doing this.” They said the same kinds of things to us, then wandered glassy-eyed back into the emergency room where they tried to fix people who had been dragged from the rubble downtown.   We showed up at Saint Vincents at nine-thirty because we had nothing to do. NYU was full of nervous energy, people eating junk food, watching TV’s, spreading rumors about blood banks, sisters who worked in the World Trade Center, the long Island Railroad, World War Three, the Taliban, Building seven, one hour photo and cellphone carriers. At nine thirty Saint Vincents told us to go back to NYU and return at one AM to relieve the evening shift of volunteers. At twelve-thirty I made a whole lot of new friends by going around collecting people from their TV sets and telling them whatever little information I knew about what could be done at the hospital.   Like I said, for a while we handed out food to the makeshift ER. We were behind police barricade. Then we heard that they needed more volunteers at Greenwich and West, a place which nobody knew the location of, but for which several of us volunteered. One friend and I were stuck in the back of an ambulance with other volunteers. One of them was a shell-shocked 19 year old fireman who had been the only member of his company to escape the second tower in time to survive. He talked like a kid from the ghetto, but there was something desperate about him. There was also a blonde punk kid with roller blades, a drunk Australian woman and three or more other people. We rode south on the  Ambulance, not really knowing where we were. In ten minutes, we were stopped by the National Guard and cleared for security. The fireman got out and started wandering around. Somebody had to get him and make him get back in the vehicle. We headed south until we no longer could due to the never-ending stream of generator trucks and rescue vehicles. We were turned back three blocks from  the WTC. We were in a cloud of dust, which no doubt obliterated a ghastly scene outside.   WE decided as a group, that with no further guidance from the NYPD, the safest thing for us to do would be to return to the hospital. One block after we turned around, the driver pulled over and picked up a gray man. He wore a filter mask, goggles and work clothes covered in light gray powder which looked like sand but which we all knew was part of the building. I offered the man my seat in the ambulance, but he looked at me and said, “if I sit down, I’ll throw up.” He was headed up to 72nd street, a long way to walk in his state. I honestly thought he had crawled out of the trenches of World War II. He described the sights in which he had been immersed all day and all night. He talked like a shell shocked veteran, and had an expression on his face which gave me shivers. I can’t remember any of the things he said, but they will probably come back in the next few days.   We were dropped back at the hospital, where we were told to return at 4:30 or 5 and they would distribute us at triage centers downtown. We walked back to Weinstein silently. This about brings me up to the present.  I am about to head out to Saint Vincent’s again. I will work until I feel I am no longer helpful, then I will sleep.   Don’t worry about me, everyone here has developed this instant sense of we’re all in this together. I will come back if I feel in any danger. For this moment, I feel this is something I need to do. More later.   Love, Katie 



September 12, 7:08 PM

i am going to keep this short, because I am tired and not at my writing best. I am getting downtown at 8.30 tonight on an ambulance through the Salvation army. They put me on call when i signed up around ten this morning, then called me around two and told me to report this evening. i have to go early to make a government ID, which i would be very excited about if it werent for the terrible circumstances.

Last time I wrote, i was about to return to ST vincent's. The scene there today was one of confusion, but overall one of hope. The sheer numbers of volunteers that turned up was mind boggling; we had a line around the block and were signing people up for shifts three days in advance. WE took turns soliciting donated vats of coffee from nearby coffeehouses, then lugging them back to the hospital. people showed up to make grocery lists, then returned with bread, bagels, juice, cookies, and anything else we couild think of. The city has really rallied around this cause, and it seems as if nobody wants to sleep until there is some major change in the situation. Unfortunately, it may be a while.

I am apprehensive about going downtown, just because of what i've heard. My friend Lexi went down on an ambulance today and helped clear rubble in a nearby park. She said the experience was intense, but once again that everyone's spirit of helpfulness made it positive.

The cloud of debris engulfed our building several hours ago when the wind changed direction. for a while, nobody was allowed outside without a mask. luckily, the wind has since shifted again and carried the horrible stuff away. You could feel it burning your eyes, throat and nose. About half the kids on my floor have gone home to be with their families. I for one feel better being closer to the situation just because it gives me a tiny inkling of power over a ghastly tragedy. However insignificant it may be, I am glad i'm here and not 3000 miles away.

i know there are some important details i am forgetting, but i need to have time to gather my thoughts before i can remember them. I got a little bit of sleep today, which was good, and plan to sleep most of tomorrow. Thank you everyone who has sent me their kind words and thoughts, and please forward this message to anyone who you think would be interested.

Love always, Katie

Thursday, September 13, 2001 2:22 AM 

Subject: yet more news   


Hi everybody.  First off, let me just say how touched i am at the responses i have gotten- from friends, family and people i have never heard of but nonetheless send their encouragement.   I have just returned from a seven hour shift at the Salvation Army. They did not, as I had expected, sent me downtown into "ground zero," but instead they sent me to NYU's own medical facility, which was temporarily serving as the mortuary. We stood outside wearing gas masks and handkerchiefs and filter masks and preparing donated food for the thousands of police officers, triage people and confused family members who formed a crowd around the hospital.   The police officers joked, drank coffee and ate donuts but there was always a little bit of mania in the way their voices sounded. Every once in a while their conversations would grow silent and one of them would look down and say, "sonuvabitch. This is crazy." or something. then they would all look down and grow somber and make the salvation army volunteers wonder exactly how someone could handle a job like that. I talked to an officer named Rice from Long island who had discovered three men from his precinct when identifying the bodies. He had to look at their ID to see who they were.   Rice had worked a 24 hour shift and was sent home for eight hours before being called back. He came out to grab a sandwich and some "fresh air." The fact that the air outside was practically unbreatheable made me wonder what it was like inside the hospital.   I worked alongside Gerry, a senior from GW University who had driven from his home in Virginia, parked in New Jersey and taken the train into Penn Station. He said he couldn't stand just watching CNN anymore. He had plans to work all night before driving five hours home and going straight to school. Another woman had been at the morgue for thirty hours.   Several times, people would cross the police lines to hand us bags of groceries with notes attached. one woman had bought a hundred bottles of orange juice and two hundred bagels. People brought us homemade banana bread, cookies, fruit, sandwiches, and bottled water. The notes were all encouraging and usually indicated that the donor wanted to help in any way possible. one woman handed me a twenty dollar bill and told me to buy chocolate.  While the donations rolled in, there were also sad and lost people wanting to see the mortality list. i had nothing to tell them. The bodies were being carried in by NYC garbage trucks, and the identification process was extremely difficult. it was a slow process.   I crossed the street to use the payphone and was confronted by dozens of "lost people" signs. Family members were described in detail down to belt color, but they all had been working in the World Trade Center. There were phone numbers to call if we had any information.  Gerry walked me back to my dorm at 2.30 AM, my 31st hour of being awake. We were stopped at 14th street by a police blockade, and asked to see identification and proof of address. i do not have ID with my New York address, so I had to call a friend at the dorm, wake her up and have her walk six blocks to come identify me by name. It seems like police action is really tightening. There are six or seven officers on every corner, in every intersection. I wonder where they all came from. Some of them are national Guard, but I'm not sure about the rest.  I am so drained right now I have to stop writing. I plan to sleep a normal amount tonight, take the morning easy, and go back to the Salvation army in the afternoon. Classes have been cancelled for the rest of the week.   I am beat, shocked and afraid, but i feel good about what i did today. Please forward .  love always, Katie      


 September 13th, 2.30 PM


 My building is almost completely empty now; everyone is packing up for the weekend and heading home on the Long Island railroad or whatever else is running. We just heard that Grand Central Station was evacuated due to a bomb threat. Yesterday they evacuated the Empire State building too. There are three girls left on my floor, which usually holds twenty-five. We are all going downtown this afternoon, but I am spending the morning cleaning my own rubble from my floor, doing laundry, resting, watching the news and eating. my roommate went back to Boston with several other people, but I have yet to hear from her. I am in much better spirits today than i was this time yesterday. I think that sleep really helped put things in perspective for me, and made me realize that i need to pace myself. I can work like six hours a day at relief efforts, but i think that staying up all night two nights in a row would render anyone unhelpful.   Still, I plan to be out tonight. Nighttime is especially hard for the firefighters and police officers, and they really need volunteers there to help them out.   On an unrelated note, before I forget, could somebody grab an extra copy of the New York Times from both today and yesterday for me? I really want to have them, but there is no way to find them right now in the city. i think they are either being hoarded, or they are just not printing as many due to understaffing.   If you want to do that, please let me know, and later on you can either give them to me when i get back to Seattle or send them to NY when our mail is back up. Right now, there is no package delivery because it is a security threat. And maybe you could just keep collecting them for me every day. i want to keep a record of the events, because i feel kind of uninformed. All my news comes from snippets of CNN that i watch in the lobby on my way in or out, or rumors. Today i tried to find radio  news and all the stations were just playing music. It seemed really weird to me.   I'm not sure if I wrote this already, but Manhattan below 14th street is a ghost town. there are no cars, so there are none of the usual healthy street sounds. And now, they are not letting anyone south of 14th street unless they live there. I need to get a new ID that says my NY address today. Unfortunately, i am not sure how to do this because all businesses south of 14th street are also closed. it's really weird to walk around down here. The lack of activity is only heightened by the ominous haziness of the air. Walking down toward the blast, you can feel like you are the only person left on the planet. It's eerie.  This feeling is obliterated as soon as you come to a group of people. Everyone is so concerned about everyone else, especially at NYU. I have been asked hundreds of times if i knew somebody in the WTC. Somehow, i feel like the only person around here who did not. I talked to a girl this morning who is pretty sure both of her parents are dead. She is going to her cousin's house on Long Island today. What do you say to someone in that position?   The identification process continues; as of last night they had recovered a thousand bodies, but only identified about forty.   i'm  not sure anyone living in Manhattan will ever be the same. of course, that is true of everyone in the country probably. It's weird, everyone is acting relatively sane and normal, including myself. I think that once we withdraw ourselves from the relief effort, we will all have time to process what happened. it should be interesting.   If this sounds pessimistic, it was not intended that way. I have great hope for everyone working to clean up this terrible mess. I think we are all learning a little about people under stress. We can pull it together in the most difficult of circumstances. If you feel helpless, give money, give blood, i'm not sure what else you can give, but watch the news. If you're religious, send prayers. Send letters to the president. Give money to anti-hate-crime groups to prevent violence against Arab-Americans. This is a ripple effect of the violence here which i'm sure is already happening around the country. it's pretty horrific that normally sane people are taking out their feelings of helplessness on other innocents.   Time to go eat. I feel good, but eating will only make me feel better.   again, forward this message to anyone interested.   Love always, Katie    


September 13, 10.05 PM    


I am home for the night after another intense day. Today I went to ground zero, the insane center where nobody knows whats going on. The smell and the dust were nearly unbearable, and it was actually about ten degrees warmer than the rest of the city.   It all started when I went back to the Salvation army around 3.00 today. I had originally intended to wait until 5, but I found myself doing nothing in an empty hallway. I was getting really restless, so I filled a knapsack with bottled water, clothes, pads of paper, rolls of tape and bagels and set off for wherever they wanted to send me. When I got to the Salvation army, it was total chaos. There were tons of trucks and humvees and vans and even golf carts being loaded with supplies and headed downtown toward the blast site. Basically, the idea was to find your way onto a truck that was headed anywhere downtown. I asked several people how I would go about getting onto one of those trucks, but nobody seemed to know any more than me. Instead of being the one asking the questions, I ended up answering questions like, “what do I do with donations,” and “how do I get a police access badge?” It was weird, I didn’t think I would have any useful information, but I was surprised at how informed I had become just from my few days of volunteering. To make a long story short, I worked myself onto a salvation army van full of ice, sandwiches and bottled water. I sat in the cab with five other people, and we rattled our way south past several national guard checkpoints. We flashed our salvation army badges and got the nod to proceed. Our little team ended up at a checkpoint station three blocks from the World Trade Center. Our customers were dusty firemen and police officers with shovels and axes. They were from all over. I saw badges from Chicago, Louisiana, Virginia and maine. There were entire companies there from everywhere. All we could say to them was, “you guys are amazing,” and “have some Gatorade and beans.” They just looked at us and thanked us. I got the idea that nobody there gave it a second thought, they just took their talent and stamina and took off to do what needed to be done. I honestly think that anyone in their situation would have done the same. If you have something to offer and something needs to be done, you will automatically step in. this is a new revelation I had about people today. The most unlikely people were down there, and we were all relating in such an incredible way. I talked to guys who fought in Korea and Vietnam, and they honestly said that that was nothing compared to this.   Right now I need to eat, and I want to get this email out, but later I will try to describe the scene. Looking into the wreckage was seriously the most profound and sobering flash of reality I have ever felt. I need to process this image before I describe it. I hope you all understand  More later.   Love always, Katie


 Friday, September 14, 2001 1:35 AM  Subject: the other half   


I wrote the first half from my friends' room because i didn't feel good about being the only one left on my floor. Now i am back in my room, about to go to bed and ready to write the second half of the account of my day.   for the first few hours we unloaded trucks at the drop off point where trucks could get no further. Then we brought supplies further in using hand trucks or carrying the boxes ourselves. It was incredible how much food there was; but i knew that there were so many firemen there that it would get eaten in a matter of hours. At this point so close to the collapse site, the sky looked like twilight even in broad daylight. Cars were being towed out of parking lot across from the former WTC that were covered in a foot of this heinous grey powder which nobody could really identify. There were rumors flying that there was asbestos in the air, but we all knew that uninformed people love to spread rumors to feel more in control. Still, everyone wore surgical or gas masks. It got really hot this afternoon, and with the mask heating up each breath, it was all i could do not to rip it off and breathe normally.   Later in the day,  i decided to take a milk crate of gatorade into the blast site to give to the firemen working there. Besides wanting to help these tireless guys, I guess i wanted to peer into the wreckage and be awed. And i was. As i walked the three blocks into ground zero, the air assumed the same gloomy grey color as the ground and surrounding buildings. Someone had scrawled, 'fuck Allah, God Bless America' into the dust on the side of the building next door to the WTC. This gave me chills; i was devastated to see these two phrases side by side, because i think they are such totally different ideas. Nearly everyone near or at the site had an American flag pinned to their back, and i am surprised to say i supported this. I saw it as not a symbol of the random actions our government will surely take, but a sign of support for the innocents who really had no idea what they were in for when their lives were torn apart on Tuesday. I think everyone needs to distinguish between the America of military power and international corporations and that of the selfless relief and support effort that i am witness to. If only those in charge could see that. Well, I guess Bush is coming to lower Manhattan tomorrow.   I approached the grey pile of wreckage very slowly, needing time to comprehend the size and meaning of such a sight. I could feel it in the air across from me, just as you can sense the presence of mountains nearby even when it's foggy. The street was littered with paper from the offices of the world trade center. There was just random crap everywhere. piles of mud lined the street like snow banks, and there were papers, insulation and unidentifiable refuse protruding from the drifts. I stopped to pick up several charred papers and a pizza box with a picture of the "old" NYC skyline on it. It most likely came from one of the top floors. I took  few pictures, but the real feeling of being there will only exist in my mind. It will never leave, i'm sure. I got as close to the wreckage as i felt was safe, and noticed that it was still on fire deep within. I stood like that, dumbly staring into it for several minutes. I would have felt like an idiot, but there were several toughened old firemen right next to me, doing the same. i felt like there was a message flashing across my forehead, "does not compute."   I decided to leave an hour after dark, because it was just getting too hectic and confusing and i felt like i would not have been much help after staring at the rubble. I walked back to NYU, which was at this time a ghost town. Presently, it is raining really hard, which is good for the air but terrible for the relief effort and those stationed at ground zero. Tomorrow i am heading out in the late morning. I have one class tomorrow which i will not be attending. School was supposed to be cancelled; two thirds of the freshman have gone home and half the professors can't even get onto Manhattan. Eventually, i have to do homework. maybe this weekend. I anticipate there will be a lot more volunteers as people are off work for the weekend. maybe then i'll take a break. For now, it is time to sleep.  Love always, Katie 

   Friday, September 14, 2001 3:11 PM 

Subject: so confused   


September 14, 3.42 PM  I can't decide whether to go downtown again today. on the one hand, i feel really good when i am doing a simple task like unloading a truck or taking down names on a notepad. I felt great last night when i returned, exhausted, from ground zero. I was energized, positive and glad to be alive. I hung out with my friends last night and we had an almost normal, fun time, except for the intermittent realizations of our situation. Tom Brokaw stuttered into hour 50 of broadcast in the corner of the room. We took turns playing each other bob Dylan songs which we thought would help us understand. All three of us sent emails at the same time. We ate Kraft macaroni and cheese and took turns using the phone. We looked outside at the pouring rain. It was clearing the horrible dust out of the air, but was undoubtedly making the relief effort a hundred times harder. We wondered if the rain was some kind of cruel joke.   This morning i had intended to go downtown at around nine in the morning, but i woke up late and felt sluggish and helpless. there was nobody around to talk to, so i checked my email and cleaned up my room, which was suffering from my crazy lifestyle the past couple days. I ate in the empty dining hall, did laundry and got my pictures developed at the one hour place around the corner. The dorm was really cold this morning, in fact i am wearing my coat right now as i type. I was scheduled to go to my art class at 2 pm, but i didn't care. Somehow, there are more important things to think of right now than buying oil paints. I have been moping around all day. I think that the meaning of these events are finally starting to become apparent to me. Maybe it's just because i have not had any tasks or assignments all day, but i am floating around feeling unreal and slightly depressed. I am definitely not alone in this, though. The cafe on the corner is full of people sitting by themselves and staring out the window into the rainy park. i went back to my friends' room and hung out with them for a while, but they were doing just as little as me. I am trying to get somebody to go downtown with me today. Nobody is here, and those that are want to stay inside and mope. i feel like i can no longer discuss this with any insight to people here. Everyone has the exact same thoughts, so it is meaningless to repeat them. On the other hand, i can think and speak of nothing else. I am just really confused and feel like i am dreaming.  Today i saw that Billy Graham had become the voice of America. I cannot even begin to analyze the meaning of this.   Somebody had put up a TS Eliot poem in the elevator:   

 Unreal city 

Under the brown fog of a winter dawn

 A crowd flowed over London Bridge,

 so many,

 I had not thought death had undone so many.   


 I need to go. I am actually going up to Union Square to the vigil.  

Lover always and Peace, Katie 


September 14, 11.27 pm    

Once again, I am sitting on someone else’s floor in silence and we are both typing letters home. The sheer amount of action, confusion and emotion we are trying to convey makes writing home a daunting task sometimes, but we both know we will feel better once we convey the events of the day as best we can.   I never ended up going downtown today. Maybe it was because I could not find anyone to go with, or maybe it was just something in my brain trying to protect me from overstimulation. In any case, I accomplished little domestic tasks, talked on the phone, obsessively checked email and read online articles describing things I had seen for myself in the past few days. For some reason, I was only interested in articles which dealt with the immediate problem, the removal of rubble from the crash site. Articles about the political ramifications of Tuesday’s events made me pause. I am not sure I am even ready to start understanding what this means in terms of future geopolitical events. I watched President Bush accepting his Red Cross hard hat today, at a fire station where I had been handing out Gatorade twelve hours earlier. He gave a grave and vague speech which i retained little of, except for the phrase, “immediate military action.”  I went to an ongoing vigil at union square, and was pleased to see that the creepy barricade was no longer in place on 14th street. There was a folk singer there, and a makeshift patchwork quilt. There was an ever-expanding circle of flowers, balloons and candles with messages on them, and another of messages of peace in sidewalk chalk. The “missing person’ signs that had become so prevalent in phone booths and on walls were added to the piles of flowers and candles.  The place was packed with all kinds of people, as union square always is, but there was a much different reason for this gathering. I was extremely touched by this vigil, until bad blood began to flow. Somebody had to drag politics into the human process of mourning and healing. He had written, “the US flag stands for terrorism” in sidewalk chalk among the messages of peace and hope. Of course, the flag-clad many were up in arms about this. An ugly, loud altercation broke out between this man and a guy in a crew cut waving a huge American flag. People gathered around, some to try to calm these men down and some to join in, but most to just gape in shock, and wonder why an event filled with peace and sadness had to erupt in anger. I left feeling alone.   I forced myself to go out to dinner with the three girls left on my floor, and felt much better, We all had the same things to say, and I no longer felt so alone.   We decided to go to a candlelight vigil at Strawberry Fields. Unfortunately, the vibe there was much worse. At first, it was lovely, with everyone standing in a circle around the “imagine” mosaic, holding candles and singing songs and saying the names of those lost in the building. Then a drunk began yelling about third world nations and the enemy and how we need to bomb everyone. He cursed and pointed at a man who had just finished talking about the need for worldwide solidarity. The man began screaming uncontrollably and slammed his glass-cased candle down, knocking over and extinguishing several others. This act made myself and the three other girls break down totally. We backed up, began to sob and hold each other, and got out of there as fast as we could. We could still hear the altercation as we walked blindly toward the subway, and could see other people streaming away in disgust.   This discouraged me so terribly I was speechless. I have to say, that even having gone to the crash site and peered into the burning rubble, tonight’s experience was much more disturbing. A burning building makes it so obvious what the problem is, and the only solution is cut-and-dried. Remove the rubble and save any potential survivors. When faced with human anger, there is no obvious enemy. Stamping out anger and making it positive is really hard to do, and I think that may be the hardest problem we have to face in the coming months.   I urge everyone not to be silent when you hear angry misdirected statements. They can be so harmful, and are a form of terrorism in themselves.   Stay okay. Love always and Peace, Katie 


Monday, September 17, 2001 12:33 PM 

Subject: forward letters   


Hi there-     So things are gradually returning to normal. i think i have sent the last of the long forwarded emails. We are doing a lot of discussion and healing in classes and on our own. i still go to Union station every day to pay my respect to the memorial. Tomorrow i will go back to the Salvation Army to see if they need more help, but i honestly think they are swamped with volunteers.   I hope you are safely together now, and that you are talking and sharing with each other and others. i am.   I just wanted to put in a request that you compile my letters and forward them to me, because most of them i didn't even save, and i would like to read them and show them to my friends and professors. I can't even believe how strange the last few days have been, and i think i need to read my own writing to remember. I am feeling better, but there are still ups and downs. I think i am going to pull out of this just fine. I feel permanently connected to Manhattan, however, and there is nothing that could make me abandon it now. i feel energized, saddened and empowered all at the same time when i walk down the street here now. I can only describe it as a thick, intense gust of reality. It is powerful, but i would not trade it for anything.   I love you. Thanks for your continued support. It's going to be ok. 

Love always, Katie