It was a beautiful day in NYC, blue sky with a few wisps of clouds.
I took the train into the city as per usual, but I was by myself. Dad had to go to a funeral and would be on a later train.
Instead of heading to my office , I went to my doctor's office.
It was there that I heard whispers "Planes….World Trade Center"
It was in my doctor's office when he came in and told me what happened.
I had to head to mid-town, the subways were empty as they passed by, finally one stopped
I headed to Herald Square and walked towards 5th
My cell phone did not work
It was on 34th and 5th that I saw tower 1 fall
It was there that traffic stopped…the world stopped
It was there that I heard silence and screams in a matter of seconds
It was there that the woman standing next to me fell on her knees and the man next to me started to cry
All in front of the Empire State Building…the tallest building on that island.
I ran across the street that was motionless to my office a few doors down
I walked in and all my co-workers were on the phone and watching the TV.
We had only 5 working lines
I had 7 messages on my phone
My friend could not find her husband, an NYPD officer
My co-worker could not get in touch with her friends that worked downtown
My other co-worker remembered that his cousin was in the building
It was there when I called my mom and finally got her
I was in the office when I heard her say "Your father went in to the office after the first plane hit, he has to check on his staff"
A few moments later "Tower two fell
My dad worked in tower two.
My VP walked out and told us that he was leaving the city and we all could go
My boss and I went to Grand Central to find it closed with police all around
"Harlem", I said," we have to make it to Harlem"
We took a bus to Harlem
It was packed, people wanted out of the city
People were crying
People in private cars, pulled over and let pedestrians into their cars
Strangers were crying and hugging each other on the streets
People just stopped to stare
There was the train at Harlem to take me home
It was standing room only
People in the vestibule were listening to the radio
We heard….Pentagon…plane down in Pennsylvania….terror….World Trade Center
I got home at around 2:13 in the afternoon
We had 21 messages on our answering machine.
The phone rang within minutes of me getting home
My aunt began to cry when she heard my voice
I turned on the TV and paced
I was in shock
I called my friends who I knew had family and loved ones in that area
I took messages for my mom
I had no idea where my dad was
A half hour later, he walked through the door, slightly covered in some dust
For 100 days there was dust, smoke and a smell that you can't ever get out of your skin and to this day, the memory burns my nose
Sirens were a constant but when it reached a certain pitch, I began to shake still
It was like a dream, a bad dream
The stories came pouring out with the tears, some of luck others of misfortune
My friend's sister was ok
My friends husband was at fashion week in Bryant Park so he was not patrolling downtown
My other co-worker lost 5 friends and spend days looking for her former fiancée in all the area hospitals… she found him a few days later with short term memory loss
My co-worker's cousin was found alive and was the last one of the survivors to leave the hospital
But there were people who lost their spouse, partner, friend, child, parent
Pets lost their mom and dads
I have not worn the beige blazer that I had on that day ever again.
But that is all I remember.
Note-I have been meaning to write this for many years but this is the first time that I put it all in writing. I still mourn for my city, it was never the same.