Date Submitted: 01/08/2010
Author Info: Jennifer (Astoria - USA) 
Occupation: Education/Training
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: Yes
Knew someone who perished?: No

In late August 2001, I tripped and fell on a sidewalk during a trip to Los Angeles and badly tore two ligaments in my ankles. I was 32 at the time, traveling with a friend, and was upset I had to come home to NYC on clutches. I took sick leave from work and spent the last week in August and the first week in September recuperating at home. I lived in Astoria, Queens. The morning of September 11, I was still sleeping. The alarm went off at 8:55. I remember hearing 1010WINS news – the announcer said a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I was so sleepy I hit the snooze button and went back to sleep. I thought it was a bad pilot who did it and thought nothing of it. I woke up around 10:30 and called my boss, feeling guilty that I hadn’t done the work he had given me. The first thing he said to me was, “Are you watching TV?” I heard lots of talking in the background. I thought he was trying to be funny. “No, I’m not goofing off,” I said. “Why should I?” He said, “Don’t you know what happened at the WTC?” I replied, “Oh yes, some plane hit the tower.” “Yes, but there was another plane that hit it.” I immediately blurted, “Terrorism!” I couldn’t imagine it could be anything else. He said, “The towers aren’t there anymore.” I thought he was joking. “How can they not be there?” I said. “Turn on the TV,” he insisted. I hung up and hopped to the TV on my clutches. All the channels had been knocked out – only static – except for Channel 2. I watched Channel 2 with horror as they replayed the footage of the towers coming down. I sank to my sofa and started to cry. I had never cried like that in my life. I covered my face. I felt helpless and alone, on my crutches. I left the TV on all night long, waiting to hear updates. The next morning, I took a car service to see my doctor. All the houses around me had sprouted American flags. I had never seen such a display. I had not been out of the house much for almost two weeks – the world I saw when I came home and the world I saw now, when I came out after 9/11, would never be the same. Later, I couldn’t help wondering if my accident saved me – I didn’t work in the towers, but I used to go down to the shopping mall beneath the Towers quite a lot. Maybe I had a lucky accident that prevented me from going down there. I’ll never know.


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