I remember I was late for work. When I exited the Broadway - Nassau station, I remember noticing the police cars and fire engines were driving the wrong way on a one way street. I remember wondering if they were filming a movie. I remember walking towards my job at One Liberty Plaza (the building that would later be used as a temporary morgue) all the while looking up at the gaping black hole in 1 WTC.
I remember thinking, as many others would later recall thinking, "how could a plane crash when the skies were so clear and blue?" In fact the day was gorgeous. I remembering reaching my building, which was directly across the WTC, connected by an underground tunnel. I remember thinking later if I had not been running late, a good friend and I would have been in the mezzanine of the WTC buying breakfast as we always did. I remember standing with the crowds, staring up and feeling utter horror at what we thought was an accident and I remember thinking, I still need to get to work.
I remember I never made it to work.
Never Forget. Two words that were coined after that fateful eleventh day of September 2001. Two words used as a way to remind us of the sacrifices made by so many that day. To remind us of the many innocent lives that were lost. To remind us that evil exists and it can reach us in ordinary places in our ordinary lives. A reminder that every day is a precious gift to be cherished.
I will never forget the roaring noise, the speed, the sheer size of the airplane that came barreling into 2 WTC, right in front of my disbelieving eyes. I will never forget thinking "this is not an accident." My exact thoughts were, "the world is coming to an end and I will never see my children and loved ones again", as debris began to rain down from the huge fireball created upon impact. I cannot adequately describe the pandemonium that followed.
I remember I ran for my life.
There is more to my story and the stories of so many others who survived 9/11. Mine is a small story in comparison to far more harrowing ones experienced that day, but that does not diminish the effect it had on my life. I have learned the grief, guilt, anger, confusion, helplessness and many other feelings I struggled with for years after, were a normal reaction to trauma. Trauma I have learned to heal from, though it will never leave me. I was just one of thousands. Thousands of ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances who will,