Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Every year I think the memories and visions will fade, but I am shocked 12 years later to have the visions be as clear as if it was yesterday. I was at Ground Zero - directly across the street in what was known as Bankers Trust / Deutsche Bank Plaza on the 39th floor, having arrived at work around an hour earlier. My building was the one so prevelant in all the news that ensued - the big black one covered by black tarp for months to follow. Part of the first Tower fell on the building. Here is a picture of where I worked:
At the time the tower started to fall, my friend (I later came to call her my 9/11 buddy), were still standing less than 1 block away, having already walked down the stairs with so many others, waiting on line to use the phone in a phonebooth - our cells were already not working. When I looked up, I saw - I thought - the tower starting to fall directly in our direction. I turned to my friend and screamed "RUN" (although I have no recollection of hearing myself or anything else). So begins my "war story." We all saw things that day that no human should have to see, indeed no human being should have had to do to make the choices they did to escape the inferno.
I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge with thousands of other NYC refugees. As we walked, we would all move to the side - without speaking a word, as the occassional fire engines and emergency vehicles would go by - toward the mayhem, as we tried to escaped it - roaring toward the fire, the buildings collapsing, the people dying . . . still trapped. They were coming into the city from every borough . . . racing . . . desperate to save lives giving no thought to their own.
We didn't know still, if the whole world was at war or if anything would be left of our homes wherever we were trying to get home to . . . It took around 10 hours for me to arrive at my home finally, with my "9/11 buddy" in tow. We were still gagging and spitting up the black/gray pulverized cement and whatever else was mixed in with it, that we had choked on when the tower fell and the giant plume covered us like some eerie, horrific black snow that covered us head to foot.
God sent Angels that day to lead me out - nothing will ever convince me that was not so.
I best stop here - this is what happens - I start to say a few words about the day, and can't help launching into the war story. I survived. Many did not. Let us remember.