A native New Yorker's devotion to their hometown is a fierce, almost irrational thing, rivaled only by a Chicagoan's devotion to this great city. We don't leave Gotham lightly. But it's been seven years since my hometown died for me, and more than five since I left it behind, perhaps for good. I'll always feel the loss, but I don't want to forget the day that caused it. I rarely tell my 9/11 story. I was only on the fringes of the hell that happened downtown. But I was in Manhattan. And I was part of the exodus.