Skip to comments.My memories of September 11, 2001
Posted on 09/05/2002 11:39:49 AM PDT by Moi
With the one year anniversary of September 11 upon us I though I would share my memories of that day. I am sure over time that history will be rewritten by the liberals of this world to make 9/11 our fault or to say it never happened (think the holocaust or the French).
I live in the great state of New Jersey and worked at that time in New York. My commute was a rather long one but that is what you get for living in the burbs. Every day I would take a commuter train to Newark, NJ and than transfer to the PATH train that would take me into the World Trade Center where I would than take a subway to my office. The WTC PATH station for those who arent familiar with it was about 5 stories below ground and was reached by a very long staircase or escalator. During the morning and evening commutes trains ran about every 5 minutes.
My commute on 9/11 started out normally until I got to the WTC as the PATH train pulled into the station I smelled smoke, being a New Yorker (born and breed in Brooklyn!) I figured that there was a track fire, a not so uncommon occurrence for the NY subway system. As we exited the train I noticed that things were less crowded than usual there were no people waiting at the donut counter or at the newsstands but I didnt think anything of it. When I got to the escalator there was a single Port Authority policeman telling everyone to please proceed up the escalator in a quick and orderly fashion.
At the top of the escalator I saw that there was a lot of activity and noticed a few areas cordoned off with yellow police tape. Since everybody I was with had just gotten off of the same PATH train none of us knew what was going on. There were police herding us out of the building via the exit next to the Borders bookstore (the corner of Liberty and Church) as we were walking out of the building I noticed a little area roped off with more of the yellow police tape and inside of that area I saw a pair of womans shoes. My first though was that someone had been assaulted and that they police were looking for the perpetrator. A few seconds later I saw a police office walking with two men one of whom had his hand bandaged up. I figured that these guys had chased the perp. and had gotten hurt in a struggle with them. Things were still relatively calm than when we walked out of the building onto Liberty Street. There we saw total confusion, people were running and screaming, someone had said that a plane had flown into the building. A police woman, in plain cloths, was standing in the middle of the street telling everyone that was exiting the building to quickly run and stand against the building across the street (the post office building). I looked up and saw flames and debris coming out of the North tower.
Not realizing what was going on I decided not to stand against the building but to walk up towards another train station so I could get to work since I had a 9:30 meeting. As I was crossing the street I decided to call my wife to let her know that something had happened at the Trade Center, but that I was alright. We spoke for about a minute as soon as I hung up I heard a woman screamed oh my God, she jumped I turned around to see one of the worst memories of my life, a woman jumping from the Trade Center. About 5 seconds later the second plane slammed into the South tower. I ran for my life towards Broadway. The plane hitting the building caused a huge fireball and produced the loudest noise I have ever heard. Immediately papers and ceiling tiles started to fall all over the place. I do not know for sure but I am fairly positive that the people who were standing against the wall of the post office must have been hit hard with shrapnel from the second plane. I heard or read somewhere that a single police woman died in the attack, if I am right I am sure it was the woman trying to get everyone out of the building and to safety. She had no way of knowing that a second plane was on it way, she was trying to protect people from falling debris by having them stand against the building if I wasnt late for a meeting I might have been standing there too.
The crowd that I was running with eventually stopped running when we got to the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge. We all stood around stunned, not believing what we had just seen. It was kinda like the movie Armageddon when Grand Central Station was being blown up by asteroids. I tried to call my wife again but I could not get a circuit on my cell phone. Emergency vehicles were coming from all over the place, the police asked us to leave the area. I got onto a subway and somehow got to my office. No one there was really aware of the problem yet. I got into the office numb with the events of the morning. I called my wife who was worried sick about me since we hung up just as the second plane had hit. I told her I was fine and in my office. It turns out that after I called her she turned on the TV and saw the second plane hit. She sat watching the entire thing not knowing where I was or if I was alright. At this point, with everything that I had seen and experienced, it still hadnt sunk in yet. I stood by the window watching the trade center burn; pretty soon I had lots of company. We all just stood there dumbfounded not knowing what to say or do. We were able to get news via the web and we watched and listened in horror as the plane crashed into the Pentagon and the field in PA.
Before 9/11 I didnt really know any of the people who sat near me, I am a consultant and they were out of offices where the rest of my group sat so I was on the other side of the building from the people I worked with. That morning I met all of my neighbors and became friends with a few of them. One of my neighbors turned out to be a real life neighbor and we evidentially rode home together that day. Her husband also worked at the company and had grown up a few blocks from the office. His mother still lived in the neighborhood so we walked over to her house and borrowed her car to get home since all of the mass transit systems had been shutdown.
I spent the next few days sitting in my backyard watching the horror. I wasnt able to sleep or eat I just sat and watched the events unfolding on TV. Our house is between NY and McGuire Air Force Base so we watched the fighter jets flying air coverage over NYC and we saw the helicopters that carried President Bush into NY. It was eerie. I have always been proud to be an American, having traveled the world and seen how other folks live, but after 9/11 I can tell you that I have never been prouder of my country or the men and woman who defend it. I have a new found respect for the men and woman who comprise our fire and police departments. Before 9/11 I took them for granted or worse yet got annoyed with them when they would pull me over for a stupid traffic violation.
I knew 5 people who didnt make it out of the trade center that day. Three of them were attending a technology conference at Windows on the World, one worked for Cantor Fitzgerald, and the other was a fireman. I knew two of them very well having worked with one for 10 years and the other was a childhood friend of a very good friend of mine. We had gone to dinner together, drank wine together, smoked cigars together, and enjoyed life together. He left behind a beautiful wife and two children. I coached my sons baseball team and the son of the fireman was on my team the previous season the father and the son were just about the nicest, most polite people you would ever hope to meet. Now that boy doesnt have a father to play ball with or to share some of lifes pleasures with.
I dont care what it takes to hunt down each and ever person who was involved with this cowardly act I just know I want it done! I want us to go into Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, wherever these SOB are I want no stone unturned in our quest to free the world of these vermin. I dont really care what the rest of the world thinks WE WERE THE ONES ATTACKED. Innocent people were in those buildings on September 11 they must be avenged. There death must never be forgotten.