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This story appears in the February 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

I write this from Ground Zero--or as close to Ground Zero as regular people can get. As most of you did, I watched TV with morbid fascination, looking at pictures of the destruction of the World Trade Center and surrounding buildings. My sister Robin told me you can't really "get it" until you see it in person. She was right. I stared at what were familiar monoliths and now are yards and yards of rubble, saw mighty steel skeletons barely standing, walked through the dust and debris, and passed by fire hydrants and street signs hanging on by a thread. You really have no idea of the true depth of destruction until you walk these streets.

I did walk these streets filled with shuttered businesses: flower shops, drug stores, bagel shops and so much more. I've never been in a war zone (and never want to be), yet I imagine this is what one looks like. Now I'm sitting in Moran's, an Irish pub, the only open business on its block (they were closed for 10 days after the attacks, suffering mostly "extensive dust damage"). It's lunchtime and business is brisk. People are buzzing loudly as if oblivious to the devastation lying mere feet away.

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