Where were you on that day? That seems to be the question you get most. I was on the train that morning on my way in to the city. I’d always look at the Trade Center – beautiful, tall and prominent – just before the train would dip under ground. I didn’t know that would be the last time I saw it. I likely just missed the first plane hit it…by the time I got to school about 20 minutes later the first attack had already taken place.
When I got to my college’s lobby everyone was hushed and listening to a radio along with the security guard. I was told that a plane had hit the Trade Center – there would be no classes. I found a few of my friends and we wondered how to get home. I thought about taking the Queens Borough Bridge home…but there were fears that bridges would be attacked…so we decided to stay on Manhattan Island and walk to my friend’s home. I went to school on East 71st street…she lived on West 170th street….we walked for over 100 blocks…we barely felt it on that day.
During our walk off in the distance we could see the smoke of the Trade Center…the skyline was forever changed. We kept thinking about the horror just south of us. The whole way there we received updates on what was happening…from other people walking…from people sitting in their cars blasting the radio for others to listen…from shop owners that offered our pregnant friend (and us) water or food.
On that day we saw the worst and the absolute best of humanity.
We went to Ground Zero 2 days later to see if we could help. Authorities requested water and batteries and so we brough that with us. Other than that there was nothing we could do. The air was thick with dust and remnants of the attack. The crowd became silent each time flatbed trucks draped with the American Flag would leave packed with debris.
I stayed with my friend for 3 days and finally felt comfortable taking the train home. My little brother – then 1 was sitting in his high chair and smiled at me when he saw me after 3 days…right behind him the television flashed images of the planes hitting the towers.
Today I was looking at images on the television of that day. Seeing those planes and seeing those towers burn and collapse will forever move me. The images of people helping one another…the images of the heroism of that day will forever inspire.
They will NEVER win.
I can’t beleive it’s been 10 years…I met my husband 3 months later. He regularly did consulting work in the Trade Center…thankfully he was not there on that day.