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Jeff Jarvis: First Hand Account of Riding the PATH into the Rebuilt World Trade Center Station

Dave Aiello wrote, "Jeff Jarvis of BuzzMachine.com published an account of his first ride on the PATH into the rebuilt World Trade Center station. He describes the scene as only a PATH-commuting veteran could:"

I kept telling myself, It's just a train ride.

The last time I rode these tracks, as many of you know, was on the last PATH train into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Today, I returned. And I didn't know how I'd react. I often feel as I live with a webcam pointed at my psyche, always watching, always recording the reaction to anything 9/11: today sunken, tomorrow angry, the next day tired, the next day numb, someday hopeful. So what will it be today?

Well, the first, best indication of my own reaction came when the train pulled into Jersey City and the conductor droned, "World Trade Center." And I smiled. Relief. Even a touch of victory.

The midmorning train wasn't crowded. One grizzly guy sat by the front window; a tourist/pilgrim with camera sat a few feet away. I kept my camera in my pocket; I dislike turning tragedy into tourism.
As we went under the river, a guy in a PATH reconstruction jacket came up to the front window to look. So did the rest of us. The tunnel -- where rowboats navigated after the attacks -- looked new and clean. And up ahead, we saw daylight. That, alone was shocking; this station always seemed as if it were a mile underground. Now, of course, there is nothing above.

The train halted just at the entrance, as if to let us get ready. The grizzly guy muttered, "Graveyard." The rest stared ahead. I felt a clutch coming but then stopped.

It's just a train ride....

Dave Aiello continued, "Read the rest of the article, it's brilliant."

"I haven't ridden the PATH since 10 days before 9/11, when I finished my last consulting project at J.P. Morgan Chase. I'm planning to ride the PATH into the World Trade Center as soon as I can. I think I'll feel as anxious as Jeff Jarvis did. Because I wasn't there that day, I'll try not to focus on my reaction-- I'll be remembering the people I knew who never came home."

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