Thursday in New York City was a time for people to try and return to a life that felt somewhat normal. Many of the citizens of NYC returned to work for the first time since the attacks on the World Trade Center Tuesday and, understandably, the journey back into the city was one filled with mixed emotions.
While citizens around the world have been affected by the tragic events of this week, for those living and working in New York City the attacks on the WTC take on an even greater reality. Bill Rosemann, the Marketing Communications Manager for Marvel Comics, agreed to share his experiences making his way back into the Marvel offices on Thursday, his first day back since the attack, to give those of us living outside the city an understanding of what it was like to return. Making his way back into the city was an emotional experience.
"Honestly, I was scared," Rosemann told CBR News Thursday. "I sat on a train heading into the always packed Grand Central Station, which in my mind would be a perfect target for another terrorist attack. The thought that went through my mind as I sat on my morning train was: 'Okay, if I hear/feel a bomb go off, what will I do?'"
His passengers on the train he took into the city were focused on the events of prior days and were all visibly moved.
"Everyone was very quiet and polite on the train. See, we were all reading papers and learning about the heroic acts of the police department, firemen, EMS workers, and ordinary citizens. Some of my fellow passengers were even moved to tears over what we read. See, while others may see us as tough New Yorkers, we're all just people trying to help each other through this nightmare. I imagine everyone else was scared like me as they headed into what is, when you think about it, a war zone. But in my heart -- and I would imagine in the hearts of others -- was the feeling that we would not let those cowards defeat us. We would not let them beat us down and steal our lives from us. We would rebuild. We would move on."
For Rosemann, returning to the office was a reassuring and pleasurable experience.
"I was happy to see my coworkers that I had worried about. Remember, a group of us fled shortly after the second Tower collapsed, so we didn't really have time to ensure the safe passage of everyone. Luckily, everyone got home safe and had returned, determined to press on. There was much kind words, hugging, and bonding."
"While we realize now is time to think about and pray for those that have perished, it is also time to carry on with our lives... to show those evil forces that we will prevail. Even if that means simply by going on and performing our daily jobs. So we will gear back up and do what we do best: create comic books that entertain readers of all ages. If that means we help the economy continue, then great. If that means we can offer entertainment and escape for children of all ages (and maybe even those in the police, fire department or armed forces), then even better. We will proceed with caution and with humanity, but we will proceed."
Finally, Rosemann shared details of a tribute book to be released from Marvel to honor those who have perished in the aftermath of Tuesday's attack.
"What really got us through was the decision to create 'Heroes,' a tribute book that will both honor and raise money for the families of those that died while trying to help those caught in the tragedy. To learn more about that special project, check out the next Your Man @ Marvel column, which should go up by Friday afternoon."