​Read the incredibly moving diary entry a young woman wrote on September 11, 2001.

“I had never kept a diary before, but moving to New York for the first time seemed like a good excuse to start.”

I moved to New York August 27, 2001 to attend NYU for grad school. I was 22. I had never kept a diary before, but moving to New York for the first time seemed like a good excuse to start. In the entries leading up to the one recorded here, I wrote about trips to IKEA and confusing the sounds of the subway with thunder. I wrote about my too-loud upstairs neighbor and a dead ladybug on my windowsill. I wrote about a man named Dukes I met on the subway who dreams about people chasing him down the street and shooting his legs, about Kate Winslet’s divorce and eating too much Cherry Garcia and buying my first cellphone. The contrast of the entries leading up to September 11th and September 11th itself is eerie and sad. Every mundane detail—the thundering subway, the dead ladybug—seems bestowed with meaning, as if they were not, in fact, mundane details, but portents of things to come.

But, of course, they weren’t.

Sept. 11

Yeah well, the date’s slightly bigger, slightly neater, because it’s important. Set the alarm for 8:45. Had a weird dream with morbid and mystical themes—went back to it after the beeping.

Then I heard a sound like a plane veering high-pitched through the atmosphere and colliding into the side of a building. I got up. My roommates—well, Meg and Jesse—were at the at the breakfast table, coffee in their hands. Hey—I said—did you guys hear that? What the fuck was that? And Jesse said—yeah, I was like, uh, a plane just crashed. We laughed and finished our coffee.

Meg told me Keri found a mouse in one of her sticky traps. Kinda half inside her laundry basket. What’ll happen to the mouse? I asked. And Meg said—you know, whatever. If they kill it—fine. If they release it into some field—fine. And then we watched the painter roll layers of white onto Keri’s walls. I blow-dried my hair and Meg left for work.

15 minutes later she runs back into the apartment and it’s the most horrifying thing, she says.

A plane crashed into the side of the World Trade Center. It’s on fire, she says. So I run outside in my socks - a gesture I thought typically melodramatic - ‘cause I’m such a cheese. But then I saw them through the arch. Slim and grey and tall—with that straight glint of sky slicing them apart—and then a billow of smoke storming around their peaks—white as it blew to the left, heavy and black as it spilled to the right. A stripe of bright orange fire tied around one floor like a ribbon.

I stood there in my jeans, my checked tank with the ribbon around the ribcage—in my socks. I couldn’t believe it was actually an occasion for it. That this was worse than melodrama. And I ran back for the phone. I called Mark and left a message and my voice quivered and I used the word “disturbing.” And I thought—too much. But then a flash of light flicked through the room. And there was another hijacked plane. And then a tower fell.

I took pictures—I didn’t think myself the type—but: Washington Square Park, a flourish of foliage, a cross to the left, construction to the right, and half the World Trade Center above, flaming like a torch, like a tacky electric church candle.

I watched it with my hand over my mouth. And some guy teetered around on a bicycle, in a fatigue jacket, ranting about judgment. A woman told him to shut up before someone fucking killed him. Then I listen to some men narrate the event—convince each other that the other “building’s going down,” and announce every moment “another cat jumped out the window.” I watched them, too—one little black dot after another, falling along the sky like dust rolling down a wall, and I couldn’t believe they were people with lives, with families, with anxieties, and regular everyday choices to make—and suddenly they’re forced to choose between jumping out the window of the 110th floor of a tower or staying inside. And they were in a situation where jumping, where falling 110 stories, was the wisest choice. It was inconceivable. It was nauseating. And I knew the ways I reacted to this—whichever emotion swept me over or commentary that emotion elicited—ultimately they were tainted. Tainted by my luck—neither deserved or undeserved.

Tainted by the fact that, in a relative sense, I had no right to act important. And that anyone alive right now was pathetic and insignificant and full of the movieishness of it all.

The rest of the day was full of adrenaline and laughter and junk food and beer and then numbness and a feeling of walking through something thick, like mud.

The sirens continue. Bart told me I was smart and funny and pretty. “The beer and the building,” he said. And I agreed. But it’s not true. Everyday things motivated that speech.

Do everyday things motivate everything? Is that a cheesy question or does the very un-everydayness of today allow it? Is that a contradiction? What can I do to deal with this? Am I really asking why? I mean, why is there so much pain and misery in the world? Am I fucking asking that?

All my furniture is crammed into the middle of my room. It’s like that early morning of that big earthquake in LA—when my bed and desk and bureau shifted and shimmied into a huddle. This time I pushed them together myself. They paint the walls white tomorrow and I have to make things easier.

via Collection of the New-York Historical Society / Wikimedia Commons

Fredrick Douglass was born into slavery in 1818. At the age of 10 he was given to the Auld family.

As a child, he worked as a house slave and was able to learn to read and write, and he attempted to teach his fellow slaves the same skills.

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via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

On April 20, 1889 at the Braunau am Inn, in Upper Austria Salzburger located at Vorstadt 15, Alois and Klara Hitler brought a son into the world. They named him Adolph.

Little did they know he would grow up to be one of the greatest forces of evil the world has ever known.

The Hitlers moved out of the Braunau am Inn when Adolph was three, but the three-story butter-colored building still stands. It has been the subject of controversy for seven decades.

via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

The building was a meeting place for Nazi loyalists in the 1930s and '40s. After World War II, the building has become an informal pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis and veterans to glorify the murderous dictator.

The building was a thorn in the side to local government and residents to say the least.

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For years it was owned by Gerlinde Pommer, a descendant of the original owners. The Austrian government made numerous attempts to purchase it from her, but to no avail. The building has served many purposes, a school, a library, and a makeshift museum.

In 1989, a stone from the building was inscribed with:

"For Peace, Freedom

and Democracy.

Never Again Fascism.

Millions of Dead Remind [us]."

via Jo Oh / Wikimedia Commons

For three decades it was home to an organization that offered support and integration assistance for disabled people. But in 2011, the organization vacated the property because Pommer refused to bring it up to code.

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In 2017, the fight between the government and Pommer ended with it seizing the property. Authorities said it would get a "thorough architectural remodeling is necessary to permanently prevent the recognition and the symbolism of the building."

Now, the government intends to turn it into a police station which will surely deter any neo-Nazis from hanging around the building.

Austria has strict anti-Nazi laws that aim to prohibit any potential Nazi revival. The laws state that anyone who denies, belittles, condones or tries to justify the Nazi genocide or other Nazi crimes against humanity shall be punished with imprisonment for one year up to ten years.

In Austria the anti-Nazi laws are so strict one can go to prison for making the Nazi hand salute or saying "Heil Hitler."

"The future use of the house by the police should send an unmistakable signal that the role of this building as a memorial to the Nazis has been permanently revoked," Austria's IInterior Minister, Wolfgang Peschorn said in a statement.

The house is set to be redesigned following an international architectural competition.

via Chela Horsdal / Twitter

Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" debuted the first episode of its final season last week.

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via Mike Mozart / Flickr

Chick-fil-A is the third-largest fast food chain in America, behind McDonald's and Starbucks, raking in over $10 billion a year.

But for years, the company has faced boycotts for supporting anti-LGBT charities, including the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

The Salvation Army faced criticism after a leader in the organization implied that gay people "deserve to die" and the company also came under fire after refusing to offer same-sex couples health insurance. But the organization swears it's evolving on such issues.

via Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes explicitly announced it was anti gay marriage in a recent "Statement of Faith."

God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is "rage against Jesus Christ and His values."

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In 2012, Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, made anti same-sex marriage comments on a radio broadcast:

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage". I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

But the chicken giant has now decided to change it's says its charitable donation strategy because it's bad for business...Not because being homophobic is wrong.

The company recently lost several bids to provide concessions in U.S. airports. A pop-up shop in England was told it would not be renewed after eight days following LGBTQ protests.

Chick-fil-A also has plans to expand to Boston, Massachusetts where its mayor, Thomas Menino, pledged to ban the restaurant from the city.

via Wikimedia Commons

"There's no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are," Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow. "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."

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Instead, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9 million to organizations that support education and fight homelessness. Which is commendable regardless of the company's troubled past.

"If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families," Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A's decision to back down from contributing to anti-LGBT charities shows the power that people have to fight back against companies by hitting them where it really hurts — the pocket book.

The question remains: If you previously avoided Chick-fil-A because it supported anti-LGBT organizations, is it now OK to eat there? Especially when Popeye's chicken sandwich is so good people will kill for it?


Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

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