I used to work on the 106th floor of the WTC and in 1 Liberty Plaza which also got demolished. Even one year later I'm still not fully recovered from dealing with the disaster.
It was horribly sad and I didn't want to see the names of people I knew on TV yet again. It did bring out the best in New Yorkers, but the ceremonies lengthened the sadness and the overwhelming loss more than I wanted to see.
It was so frustrating on 9/11/01 when I wanted to do something to help, and yet there was almost nothing I could do. I tried to donate blood with a friend of mine that day, but there were too many people wanting to do it and the blood banks couldn't store that much blood at once anyway. I looked into volunteering to help, but the mayor let us know that the city had more volunteers right now than they knew what to do with. The only positive thing I accomplished was directing people to the unemployment office and counseling others.
It's nice that so many people sympathized, but even Americans in other states have a hard time fully realizing the sheer magnitude of the loss here. For months there were pictures of missing people plastered almost everywhere who you knew would never be found. Union Square Park became a memorial for months(which is far away from Ground zero, but it was the closest area that was not closed to the public for some time). Ground zero was smoking for months.
We're still burying the dead even now. The disaster still comes up in conversation often whether we want it to or not. Many people are still unemployed here. The air quality is still a matter of concern because of disaster. Security here is increased and the fear still lingers.
We are making progress, but we still have a long way to go before we recover. I feel the wounds will be more healed once a complex that rivals the old WTC in drawing power is built on the old site.