Front row center

Date Submitted: 06/12/2002
Author Info: Jackie (LYndhurst, NJ - USA) 
Occupation: Administrative
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: Yes

September 11th seemed like any other day. I kissed my husband goodbye as he headed off to work, drove my 19 month old daughter to the sitters and headed into work on the NJ Transit train/PATH. Commuting was starting to get a little difficult since I was 7 1/2 months pregnant. (I just want to mention that my department transferred 2 months prior to this day. Normally, I would have taken the PATH train into the WTC to get to work.)

I took the WTC PATH train and got off at Exchange Place (right on the water in Jersey City, NJ-DIRECTLY across from the WTC). When I got out of the PATH station a 8:50AM, a few people were standing there pointing towards NYC. I decided to stop & look at what the commotion was. There was only a handful of people that stopped to see what was going on. Everyone else just kept on with there morning commute, oblivious to what was going on. When I turned to NYC, I saw a HUGE hole in the side of one of the buildings and there was a raging fire coming out of the side. I immediately called my husband to let him know about the fire. I did not know what had happened. Only that the WTC was on fire. I continued on to work 1 block from the water. When I got to work, a few people started gathering in my boss’ & his colleagues office which has a direct view of the WTCs. We put on CNN in their offices. Not only were we watching it first hand but we were hearing about it on the news. It was surreal. I starting getting very scared and upset. I never would have imagined that something like this could or would ever happen. I will never forget what a co-worker said after the second plane crashed. He said, “You know what you are looking at everyone, you are looking at Pearl Harbor!” We were all watching as the first of the two buildings collapsed right before our eyes. I just started to cry as I hugged a co-worker. I imagined how many people were just killed right before my eyes. It was one of the worst feelings that I ever had!! I was also worrying about people that I knew that could have been in the buildings.
At this point all I wanted to do was get the hell out of here. I was pregnant and knew that it was going to be difficult to get home to my family. I did not feel safe. They closed down Jersey City all together. There was no way that my husband was able to pick me up (although he did try). All the cell phones were down excect for my co-workers. They did evacuate our buildings and we walked to meet her fiance. They drove me home. I live 10 miles from NYC.

I did not return to work for almost a week. I was consumed with the news coverage and just wept. So many things ran through my mind especially “how could I bring a little boy into a world like this???”

A day doens’t go by that I don’t think about it at least once. 9-11 has effected me on so many different levels and I will never be the same. My only wish is for my daughter and my son to never experience anything like what happened on 9-11.
My heart goes out to the families of everyone that passed away on that day.
A little piece of all of us died with them!!!


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