Skyline Sleeps Forever

I live near the city that never sleeps.
They call it that because the lights are always on, they never go out. The lights that not only shine from mortar and concrete, glass and steel, but the light of the souls of those who built it, and those who live in it, and nurture it.
Today, the lights of thousands of glass windows, fixed in mortar and concrete and steel, went out.
The lights of thousands of souls, that lived, and nurtured it, went out. A beautiful morning, that marked one of the last of the days we would call summer, which would move into the exciting time of change we would call autumn, would be marred by the change that would never be forgotten.
 Two beacons of stature, and magnificence that was thought would forever stand for the future, have abruptly been sent into the past. As the mushroom of smoke and debris rise upward into the skyline, to dissipate into the nothingness that would forever remind us of our impermanence, it takes the dreams, and hopes of those within.
They are forever silenced, as a large part of our city will forever sleep. The news reports were generous; their cameras gave us pause. We watched the World Trade Center crumple in on itself. We watched the smoke mushroom out through the building. It went straight down. Didn't totter. Didn't lean. Didn't crash into other buildings. It went down into the rising debris.
110 stories into oblivion, but you had to give its makers credit, they'd made it so it wouldn't crash like some gigantic monolith into a domino devastation, hitting building after building. In an instant, it was gone.
What the cameras could not show was the devastation that would ripple out, like the disturbance of a pebble in the center of a calm lake. Countless children who would not see a parent again. Countless mothers who would sit home waiting for their child of 22+ years, full of the joy of a career that she could be proud of, to come home with reports of success.
There would be no such reports. The reports of death and destruction would forever taint the memory of that possible success, pride, that child. Who will never become a parent.
The little boy 20 miles away in a nearby borough, who would never see his school again, or his friends, because that school is located in a neighborhood populated by those who would celebrate this tragedy. A celebration of death, and mockery of the great nation they call their home.
We go to movies to watch the tragedies like this unfold, and rally the heroes that give unconditionally to lessen the impact, to save the day. We wake up the next day to find the tragedy a falsehood, a motion picture curiosity we can all forget tomorrow. We go to sleep tonight, in the city that never sleeps, but when we wake up tomorrow, we wake up to reality.
The tragedy not forgotten, the heroes not strangers, rallying only memories of those who did not make it. No impermanence in this. This will always be in the memory. This will always be the sharp stab in the heart when remembered. To all out there with loss unendurable, for the heroes in the thick of the debris and blood and pain, I wish I had the words to convey what I feel for all of you.
The city that never sleeps will sleep tonight, not wanting to wake up tomorrow.