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Diana's View: At Ground Zero (10/19/2001)

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This is The Savvy Traveler and I'm Diana Nyad.

This past week I went back to my old home of New York City. The event was an annual gathering of the best female athletes in the world, past and present. Olympic runners, pro basketball players, world champion ice skaters. A hundred of us jocks are part of a black-tie dinner every year to raise a million dollars for women's sports. We're like family to each other, and I even get to host the dinner with Billie Jean King.

This year, the New York Police Department escorted us down to Ground Zero. We stood under giant shards of twisted metal, wearing hard hats and gas masks, and the tears flowed. The funeral pyre was still burning and we were told the temperature below the ground we walked on was still about 4500 degrees. A police officer told us the dirt we had walked through was filled with finely crushed bone, and they hosed our shoes down on our way out. We didn't utter a word for about ninety minutes. And we're not a group given to silence...

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