I remember every single thing about September 11, 2001. I was working in NYC and was super busy while my boss was in our company’s San Francisco office. I went to work that morning like any other morning. My office was down on 18th Street and 5th Avenue so I had to take the Long Island Railroad, then a subway and walk two avenues. I met a co-worker on my commute and as we walked that last block to 5th Avenue, the volume level of the construction on the street reached such a high that we commented on it. It was early, probably about 845am.
We entered our buildings, said our goodbyes and I went up to my office. As my department members trickled in, there was news of a plane hitting the World Trade Center. I called my brother, who worked there, and couldn’t get a hold of him. I called my dad and we talked about how it was probably a small plane accident – he had spoken to my brother and they had come to that conclusion. We hung up the phone and the next plane hit. I think the entire country realized at the same exact moment what was going on.
As almost every one of my co-workers came together in a conference room, we all alternated between watching the events unfold on the televisions and watching them unfold out our windows, which looked straight down 5th Avenue.
We watched as the towers fell – they were there and then they weren’t.
I remember everyone being on their cell phones, unable to get information about their friends and family members who, by whatever chance, may have been downtown. My husband walked uptown and picked me up and together we walked to Penn Station, in silence.
At the time we lived on Douglaston, on the only train line that doesn’t run through Jamaica, and unbelievably, we got to Penn Station and got on a train home. We were surrounded by people covered in ash. And everyone was silent.
That night, I remember sitting on the stoop of our apartment with friends – just sitting there. I don’t remember any of the conversation, but the four of us held on to each other like life rafts and I don’t think we separated for a few days.
As I woke up today, I saw the same clear blue sky as I saw 11 years ago. As I watch the clock today, I’ll remember how that day went. And as I got my kids ready for school this morning and tried to explain to my 6 year old why she was wearing red, white and blue, I remember all of those we lost that day and how 11 years ago, our entire world changed forever.
Every day goes by so quickly. Always remember, never forget. 9-11-2001