I was working as a librarian at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Oh. I had come in early to help out with a video teleconference session that ran every Tuesday from 6am – 9am or so.
We’d finished up and I’d just come back to the library and decided to grab some coffee. I went to the elevators to go down to the lobby and when the doors opened my assistant was on the elevator crying. She was inconsolable with tears streaming her face.
“What happened?” I asked.
“Two planes hit the World Trade Center.”
We rode down and went to the auditorium in Rainbow and I turned on the television feed for the main projector. We sat stunned in the dark watching CNN. Black smoke trailed up from the towers as reports about the Pentagon and possibly the White House came in.
I distinctly remember the hollow feeling I had knowing that we were under attack. Suddenly everything seemed uncertain.
We sat there in the dark until the first tower collapsed.
We left the room and I told her to go home. I did too.
I continued to watch events unfold all night alongside my brother. My wife, my sister-in-law, and my mother-in-law were in Paris, France, and had to have a translator tell them what was happening. They didn’t know when they’d be able to come back home.