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By Rieva Lesonsky

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I write this from Ground Zero--or as close to Ground Zero asregular people can get. As most of you did, I watched TV withmorbid fascination, looking at pictures of the destruction of theWorld Trade Center and surrounding buildings. My sister Robin toldme you can't really "get it" until you see it inperson. She was right. I stared at what were familiar monoliths andnow are yards and yards of rubble, saw mighty steel skeletonsbarely standing, walked through the dust and debris, and passed byfire hydrants and street signs hanging on by a thread. You reallyhave no idea of the true depth of destruction until you walk thesestreets.

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

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