I was there that day. It was Election Day, a Primary and I was working at a poll site in a High School in Queens. For the first time in American history we closed the polls and stopped an election. That was their first victory. Since I was already part of the Red Cross I got into HQ by 1 PM and was down by the Box by 2 PM. I remember the people standing by the West Side Highway watching us race South. I remember the cloud that still hung over Ground Zero and everything below Canal Street. We pulled up to a triage set up outside a school a block North of the site. As we pulled up I saw the doctors and nurses standing outside looking South. They were ready, they were waiting. No one came. They stood there looking South and I could see they were crying. They were there to save lives but there were none to save. I remember the flames and the smell. I remember the taste. It was a crematory and I knew I was breathing in asbestos and people. Above all I remember that I knew that I was breathing in the people.
There is a memoir today on Sean Linnane's blog that deserves to be read.
This is my post from 2008. The same as above but longer. Lest we forget.