Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, I rose early for a brisk walk. I left around 7:45 a.m. and set out for the path along the Bronx River Parkway. It was a gorgeous morning, and just as I turned homeward my attention was diverted by a great blue heron standing in a pond. It never acknowledged me, but its regal beauty left me fixated – and at peace. I stood and watched, feeling lucky, and returned home later than I planned, at 8:55 a.m. When I arrived at my apartment building, the porter told me the World Trade Center was on fire.

My son Greg worked on the 103rd floor of the North Tower, only a few floors above the impact zone of the hijacked airliner.