My day started like any other. Boarded the F train from Brooklyn to Rock Center. As I walked across town, via 49th Street, nothing seemed out of place.
I entered my office and was alerted by my boss that a small plane had hit the WTC. He had a small TV in his office. As employees started to show up, we crowded around the TV set.
Suddenly, someone shouted, “there’s another plane!” Out of the corner of the screen we watched the second plane plunge into the tower. I ran outside and ran a block to the West Side Highway. I walked up onto the Water Terminal platform for an unobstructed view.
After heading back to the office, we all sat around talking about the evacuation, rescue plans that must have been started. We never imagined what could have happened next.
We sat in horror as the first tower fell. Then the second…
We all left the office for our homes, to find loved ones, etc. The streets were unnerving. Everyone was trying to make cell phone calls, which proved unsuccessful as the network was overloaded. I got one call out to my GF at the time. We made plans for her to walk West, me East on a certain street in midtown. We walked until we met.
At this point, the trains were shut down. The Bridges as well. Walking to our place was not an option. We headed to a friends rooftop patio in the 20’s, East side. From there were sat and watched the smoldering scene.
We ventured out onto the streets around 7pm, when we were told that the trains were up and running. People covered in soot and dirt were everywhere. They had made the walk uptown. It was a surreal moment.
After a nearly silent, but comforting subway ride back to Brooklyn, we were met by our landlord. She hadn’t known where we worked and she had feared the worse as we had not been home all day. It was a tearful moment.
A we awoke the next day, the smoke and debris cloud had shifted over Brooklyn. There was a haze in the air. An odor that I will never forget.
It’s truly hard to believe that it has been 12 years. Many days do not pass before the day crosses my mind. A siren, a plane overhead. They all bring me back to that day…