I ran for my life

Date Submitted: 09/09/2002
Author Info: Linda (Aberdeen, NJ - USA) 
Occupation: Administrative
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: Yes

Written on Sept. 12, 2001

Everyone should know what really happened. This is nothing compared to those who managed to get out of the Towers. Pray for everyone. I feel like I’m living a nightmare. I’m home here crying my brains out. Everyone calling to find out if Im ok.

Here’s how the day unfolded for me:

Normally I take the NJ Transit train then the PATH to the World trade Center because I worked across the Street at the World Financial Center. Well I had an appointment in Staten Island planned for last night so I drove to Staten Island (while my husband was in Maryland on business) and then I took the train and ferry to the city. Got to my job at 8:30 – NEVER this early for work, usually, 8:40 – 845 or so because I NORMALLY don’t get out of the trade center until about 8:35 or so.

Well if I had gone to work on my normal routine – I would have been in the rubble of towers because that was the time I would be walking through the trade center.

When I got to my desk at 8:30, I typed a letter and suddenly – the guys on the trading floor start screaming A BOMB A BOMB….. Huge pieces of steel on fire and what looked like ticker tape.pieces of debris flying all over the place – all outside our window. We ran to the stairs – I was on the 8th floor (thank God) after 1 flight down, the boss says, this building’s safe…I continued then by elevator to the first floor and at that time, I was staring at the top of the tower on fire. I went back up to my desk because I thought maybe just a news helicopter hit the building [Someone said a plane hit the Trade Center]- and we were safe. After a few minutes, suddenly BOOM the whole building shook.I grabbed my bag again and ran down 8 flights of stairs wearing high heels -I think I was about the 10th person of a couple of hundred people that bolted out of the building — I ran down the back street, this is all not knowing what really happened….I bought a bottle of water because my heart was pounding a mile a minute and I continued running to the Staten Island ferry – about 15 minutes away…I saw a ferry leave, so I figured, the next ferry would be soon. All the meanwhile, the morons standing around taking pictures…and Im running in high heels – I thought I was going to have a heart attack. At the ferry terminal, I met a woman hysterical crying…..and the crowds of people to get on the ferry grew very quickly….after about 20 minutes they announced the ferry was delayed for security purposes in Staten Island. Finally got on the
ferry at about 10:05 made it on the ferry and everyone grabbed life preservers….All I could think was THIS WAS IT…..now the boat will be the next target….

It took some time for the boat to fill up and just as the boat finally was leaving, [Not knowing one of the towers collapsed] suddenly there was this huge fog of smoke hovering over the ferry…Since I had my life preserver on me…it was difficult to cover my face because my blouse was buried in the life preserver … it was the scariest moment….everyone saying out loud…lets move faster….All I could think of was the prisoners in Hitler’s regime getting killed like this….I would be dead very soon…I prayed and cried …thinking about my kids — thinking how my youngest son would never live through it if something happened to me like this….And how would my husband go on…..alone with no family here with no one around……..Meanwhile my older son was driving an express bus going into the city and watched the towers blow up and started crying thinking I’d been killed…..he was the first one to reach me on my cell phone when I got to Staten Island. Everybody crying……couldn’t get through to my husband and my younger son, then my NEW friend’s mother called his cell phone from Connecticut to leave a message…All of us had messages on cell phone voice mail crying..waiting to hear from me My husband left his meeting in Maryland as soon as he heard, his boss drove him home…one of his messages on my home answer machine was HONEY, please leave a message on the home answer machine if you can so I know you’re safe…pleasse please I LOVE YOU……….

Well I brought 2 women – 1 from Boston and 1 from uptown NYC back to Staten Island with me, spent a few hours at my girlfriends house and finally i drove home to NJ and the woman from boston’s fiancé drove to NJ and got to my house at 1 am this morning and they were taking the woman from uptown to her parents home in Connecticut…all because all the bridges were closed to ny.

I vowed never to work in NY again – My younger son said he’ll work 4 jobs, as long as I don’t go back.

The woman from Boston had arrived at the trade center in a cab from the airport because she was going to take the path train at the trade center to NJ for a meeting.. …just as the cab pulled up the cars in front of her were on fire…when she got out of the cab she had to jump over a body…….

Thank God I’m safe…………that’s all I keep thinking..

My older son called last night -his landlord’s son worked on the 105th floor…………. My son kept thinking about how he’s going to find out that he knew so many people who didn’t survive..

This morning at 7 am, he calls me hysterical crying —- the landlord’s screaming and crying with family and neighbors.

Sorry to bore you with the details….but it helped me to write it down…. Maybe a little bit of relief.

Say a prayer.

Love Linda


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