NEW YORK – It's been a very difficult day covering the 9/11 anniversary events.
We have been positioned on the tenth floor balcony of an office building across the street from ground zero. It's a very good vantage point to see the World Trade Center site, but today it has been a very hard place to broadcast from. Mother Nature bestowed a wet, rainy day on New York City for this somber day.
The winds have been gusting all morning. Rain has been falling and blowing sideways. Tents are useless – a couple of them blew dangerously over the balcony to the street below. But it's the best place to see ground zero in its entirety.
|SLIDESHOW: Remembering 9/11|
I've been up on this balcony every few years since the Sept. 11 attacks. I was living in London when the attacks happened and suddenly found myself on my way to Pakistan and Afghanistan for several months. After several years of reporting from overseas, I returned to New York.
I can see the progress at ground zero. And I can also see the overwhelming amount of work left to rebuild.
I'm reminded that the Deutsch Bank building still is standing eight years later. It's a tower the was pretty much destroyed by the attack, but there's been so much wrangling about rebuilding – who should pay, what should be built – that there's still no agreement about how to tear the bank building down.
I was here back in 2007 when two firefighters died in an accident trying to put out a blaze in the building that shouldn't even have still been standing.
|VIDEO: Remembering the victims of 9/11|
Across the site is perhaps the most hopeful sign of progress. The first tower is rising above street level. It used to symbolically and defiantly be called Freedom Tower. It's expected to stand 1,776 feet tall when it is completed. But in a clear sign of how the emotional and political environment has changed over the years, the building is now called One World Trade Center.
Every anniversary brings back so many memories and rekindles unresolved issues. Another significant concern is the claims by hundreds of people that the infamous dust cloud that formed at the site after the buildings collapsed made them sick.
But this is a day to think about those innocent lives lost – people from around the world. A day to share the grief of the Sept. 11 families still struggling with the tragedy on a very intimate and personal level.