#1439 | Friday, July 5th 2002
I flew into Newark on the 8th of Sept. and stayed at my friend's (Heidi) that night. Her husband fixed a delicious Italian meal for us and had it ready when we arrived. We went to NYC by train on Sun. and took the subway to a station near our hotel. We stayed very near Times Square and Broadway. (first plane, train, subway trips for me! ) I called another friend who lives in Manhattan, Maureen, and we set up a place to meet for dinner. We had a delicious dinner and then went to Greenwich Village for dessert and to Maureen's apartment for a few minutes.
Monday, the three of us went to the WTC, had lunch, and went to the observation floor. We were going to the roof but it started raining so they closed access to it. Heidi found out that we could have the manager sign our tickets so we could return another time and go out on the roof. We also went to Chinatown and Little Italy that day and left Maureen with the thought that we would call her Tuesday after her work day and set up plans for dinner. Meanwhile, Heidi and I went to the play, "Rent", and decided we would go to the WTC for lunch at Windows on the World and go on the roof before dinner with Maureen on Tuesday.
We were exhausted, slept late on Tuesday, and were awakened by Heidi's cell phone. But by the time she answered it, there was no one there. She tried returning the call to her husband but could not call out. We tried the hotel room phone and could not call out. She went to the bathroom and I flipped on the TV. I see a skyscraper billowing smoke and across the bottom of screen is a list of various buildings in US that have been evacuated. I said, "Heidi, come here, we're being bombed or something, and what is that building?" She said, "That's the World Trade Center tower." And I said, "No, it's not, if it is, where's the other one?" Then they showed reruns of the attack on the other tower and showed it collapsing. We watched in horror as the other tower collapsed. It was so unbelievable. It was like watching a movie. We thought about leaving the city right at that moment but then it was announced that the city was closed and no one could leave nor come in. I'm not sure how tall our hotel was but we were on the 11th floor. We considered leaving the hotel but I wanted to watch TV. After a little while, we felt safer, knowing no planes were flying except for military planes (and they were flying so close, they were almost deafening at times). We finally got a call to Heidi's husband who called my mother. And she, in turn, called my husband. My mother and husband and son all knew about the attack around 9 am, and did not get word from me until around 1pm. We attended the mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral with Cardinal Egan that evening. (I've never been to a mass before) It was very touching. Several were there with pictures of missing people. Lots of tears were shed. The NY TV stations were there and we saw parts of the Mass on the news that night and the next day.
So, we did finally leave the hotel late Tuesday afternoon. Compared to Sunday and Monday, the city was very quiet, sad, different. Wednesday was the same, yet the streets seemed even more desserted. Those who could leave, did, and the streets were so vacant. Many stores and restaurants were closed.
The rest of my stay in NYC is somewhat a blur. I remember things I did, but not necessarily what day. I did go to Washington Sq Park, Central Park, Grand Central Station, Empire State (but not inside), etc. We attended the candlelight vigil at Wash. Sq. Park. We didn't have communications with Maureen, so we went to see her again. She was fine, thank God. Because of the difficulty in getting out of the City, we stayed an extra night. We even considered staying another one, but Thursday (13th) there were 4 bomb scares that were too close to us for comfort. It's scary seeing people running down the street after what happened the 11 th. Heidi's son had come home from school in SC to see for himself the goings on and he drove into the city to get us.
On Tuesday, the 18th, I decided I wanted to go back to the city. Heidi was surprised but I wanted to see it once more before I went home. We had planned on going by Staten Island ferry on Sunday or Monday but didn't. On Wednesday we did. That's as close as I got to the Statue of Liberty, but the captain of the boat steered as close as he could to it for me while staying within his guidelines. (The Statue was still closed to tourists.) I drove the boat and Heidi did also. The skyline is definitely different. When we left, it was dark and you could still see the smoke from the WTC and it was strange that most of the city was lit up but the section near where the WTC was eerily in the dark. The bridges were lit up just like the pictures.
Heidi's husband drives heavy equipment for NYC and volunteered for work at ground zero. He took pictures of the area where he was working. Total destruction. Her family has NYPD background so she heard lots of stories that we did not see in the papers. I have a collection of papers and mags from NYC. Papers here in KY covered it but not anything like the NYC papers, of course.
I was supposed to leave for Louisville, KY on Saturday night (15th) but I was not ready to fly. My family desperately wanted me home, but I wanted to get there safely. I explored other ways to get home: Amtrak, Greyhound, a friend of a friend of a friend (a stranger to me) was driving as far as Charleston WV (five hours from home), Heidi driving halfway and husband halfway, rent a car, and even having Gene, another friend, chauffeur me. All of those methods involved a minimum of 15 hours riding. I could not justify spending two days going home vs. less than two hours in the air and two hours drive time! So, I did fly again. I flew to L'ville on Thursday night and got home about 130 am. The flight was uneventful except for turbulence for the first 30 minutes (Newark had rain and lightning). There were 16 people on the plane including the crew. The flight was very casual; one attendant came and sat with various passengers and chatted about various things, including the week's events. One pilot did the same thing while we waited for the plane's audio system to be repaired.
I've always heard New Yorkers are arrogant and obnoxious. Even before the tragedy, I did not find that at all. People were very nice and polite. I felt very much at home. After the attack, the people pulled together and worked together so well. The city is clean, beautiful, well managed. I had a wonderful experience. I wish the bad stuff had not happened but I'm glad to have been there to have that perspective. I returned to NY City in October of 2001, about a month after the attacks. The skyline was markedly different and noticeable upon my arrival into Newark. The people of the city seemed to have a renewed spirit...a determination...to continue their lives. I visited the observation deck of the Empire State Building where I could still see smoke and an empty spot where the WTC had been. I also visited the United Nations Building on this trip. I'm sure both the Empire State Bldg. and the UN had new, different security checkpoints, etc. I felt very safe. NYC is still a beautiful, fascinating and wonderful place.
B Milby | 44 | Kentucky
#1090 | Thursday, March 21st 2002
WE had gone to bed early for a change. At about 4am the phone rang - some friends of ours who had lived in Washington DC at the same time as us had called to tell us the sad news. We turned on CNN and stayed glued to the set. As we sat and watched we reminisced about the the times we had visited the WTC. I had worked at the Australian Embassy and spent a lot of time at the Pentagon. The fears for our US friends based at the Pentagon gripped us and I couldn't wait to get on the phone to check on them at the same time I was scared to call. In the days to come we were to find that they were well although scared by the incidents.
My son joined us at about 5am and in utter shock sat and stared at destruction. He was deeply affected and wrote the following: Our Own Little Monument
We were not there to see them fall
But we have been there
Very few saw the majestic beauty of these towers
Now those who havenít may never
These towers werenít just seen as objects that were lost
They were seen as casualties of war
Terror brought them down but unity will resurrect them
They will come back, bigger and stronger
They will return
And people will see that nothing destroys America
These faceless cowards have brought an end to thousands of lives
But through their violence comes hope
Hope that one day the terror will stop and peace will spread over the earth
And so look at this mini monument of ours and remember
Remember those that died and those who mourn
Remember those responsible and those who brought this upon us
Just remember, remember that tragic day and what has happened since
Remember the towers and buildings
Remember our own little monument
And always if everything else is lost remember hope
In memory of the World Trade Center Ė 1973-2001
In memory of those innocent civilians who were killed because some people just donít care
TUESDAY 11th SEPTEMBER 2001
WILL BE REMEMBERED
We will remember and will be back to visit.
God bless America and all those who lost loved ones.
David Fallon | 44 | Australia
#977 | Tuesday, March 12th 2002
I was at work and listening to my favorite morning show on the radio.When a song ended, there was dead air. I figured that the station had gone off the air and was reaching over to change the dial. The radio personality came back on the air and advised that if we could....we should turn on the nearest TV. They had been watching footage of where a plane had hit the WTC and while they were watching, a second plane hit the other tower.I went to my nearest coworkers and told them to switch to a news station on their radios becuase it sounded like a terrorist attack. They thought I was joking.It was amazing to hear, not see, what was happening. You could hear in the radio announcers voices how shocking it was. I saw still footage on a nearby computer with internet access.Probably the oddest thing was going outside at break. We are near an airport. It was surreal to see no airplanes going above! What was even more surreal was when the airplanes were again allowed to fly. We looked at them like we'd never seen one before.Also....the gas lines on September 11 were hard to believe. I actually needed gas and was afraid I'd run out waiting. We fnally found a small non-chain station. It was amazing how friendly and polite everyone was.
Linda | 44 | Michigan
#800 | Friday, March 1st 2002
I was out having breakfast with my mother when the crashes happened.It was such an awful thing to have happened.I was so shocked at the news!Before something like that happened no one could possibly think it would ever happen to us here in the GREAT USA,but it did.It really gets you to think about life,about how valuable it really is.You really start taking a look at yourself and wonder what can you do to make your life and others a little better.I have gotten mad and cried.I can only hope that we as Americans can pull together and try to live together more peaceably and unite more and not just because of this most tragic incident in American History and really take stock of our lives and what we can do for others.We all need to start taking a stand for what is right and be there for one another.We all need to as a Nation get our selves and our Nation back to God,that is what our Country was founded on.We have gotten away from what is the most important thing and that is GOD.
DEBBIE BURNETTE | 44 | Alabama
#594 | Monday, December 31st 2001
All my thoughts, all my feelings..And the slow resolve~ "This is Real"
A tribute to all those that were there, that have lost, how "small" our lives are.. And blessing, love and prayers for the Hero's,, the angels.. those that have lost,, and to the families and friends.
So Far..Far Away...
Beautiful Tuesday, The sun shining bright,
Soft shades of blue, filling the sky.
Soft gentle breeze, so float the clouds
The rustle of leaves, in the trees up above.
So Far ... So far away is my mind.
Screams, so shrill they fill the air
along with the black where the blue had once been
the crashes, the screaming, the fire & blood,
a city in shock,.oh beautiful mourn.
So Far... far away
Green grasses dancing, the horses they graze.
The cattle look like statues across the way.
So peaceful, so quiet..the temperature just right.
A drive to town, then to school, the day just starts.
so far... so far away, the rest of the world;.
A scared child wails, frantic mothers cry
A noble fire fighter tries to save lives.
The sky comes down, thunderous heaps
Blackened the sky, the world ,,under siege..
So far,, far away
The voice on the radio..
This is the news?..Another attack
Those countries at war, seems for so long
The innocent lives, living with war in everyday life..
So far.. So far away...
I stare at the box, thats producing the sound,
the voice, says " New York",
not foreign land
in disbelief, I stand and I stare,
hot tears sting my eyes, as they roll down my face,
I am feeling,, before my mind catches up
This can't be real, what that voice had just said,
So far... So far away.... So Touched my Heart
So far... So far away..Now it seems real.
The Terror, the pain, the anguish they feel..
So Far.. far awary, To far to be of much help,
I send my love, and I send too my prayers
I send my blood... I shed my tears..
So Far... So Far away...
The facades of what worries from everyday life
The simple of blue skies or clouds floating by
The children that play on a swing in the park
The freedom we have, the sun or the stars
The little things so precious,, within our reach,
we can let get to far, to far from our hearts.
So Far... So far away ... our hearts
D.Enise copyright 2001
Reach out ..to someone & give from your heart
Smile at a stranger,
Laugh with a friend.
Hug your own child..
what ever the time,
To the man you call husband,
The woman you call wife..
Look to your worker, or
look to your boss..
appreciate the flower, just outside of the door.
They are not far.. not out of our reach,,
they are, in front of our eyes,
Not to far to touch
for you to reach out,
give them the love ,
thats inside of your heart..
before they are..
To far... To Far Away
To All that were there, or all that still are..To all the families and freinds of those that are lost, who's lives are forever changed.. and to the Hero's. of today, our Military and their families..
My heart and prayers are with you all.
God Bless America.. and let her be safe, and bring her healing..
May angels wrap their wings around you, and help you to heal.
May you find some comfort
in the love were all sending your way
from all the hearts across all the lands.
And may some peace come to you from Heaven Above.
To all of the Hero's.
The Brave unselfish souls
Giving their efforts, without thoughts
You are all bright stars
You shine through the night
Battling this fight
Though we can not be there
In our physical forms
Our hearts are with you
our prayers will go on
Jen | 44 | South Dakota
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