Recalling my feeling on September 11, 2001
|A New York State of Mind
Since it was already a beautiful day, I decided to enjoy my coffee out on the deck. As I sat there in the early morning dampness, watching the sun rise, admiring the colorful marigolds and glistening lawns, I savored the Sounds of Silence. That day, Serenity hovered over "My little corner of the world". At least for a little while.
Little did I know that life in America was about to change forever, so I finished my coffee and hurried into the house to shower and blow dry my hair. I had a busy day ahead of me and I had to get going! (people make plans and God laughs).
8:50am- I was showered,dressed and unloading the dishwasher when the phone rang. Before I could say hello, my neighbor screamed into the receiver----------------------------"Turn on the TV now. An American Airlines plane just crashed in The World Trade Center"! I hung up the phone and I turned on the tiny black and white TV perched on the kitchen counter. Immediately, I heard a reporter saying that a plane carrying 20,000 gallons of jet fuel had just crashed into the Twin Towers, ravishing floors 90-100 and killing 92 passengers. Thick, black, oily smoke billowed from the buildings.
The scene was the same on every channel!
Charlie Gibson, Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, Peter Jennings and Matt Lawyer all watched in horror, "Live From New York City" with the rest of the world as the building went up in flames. People walking in the streets were screaming, crying and running, trying to get away from the buildings. Everyone thought that this was a terrible accident.
Then at 9:02am- Another plane hit. United Flight 175, carrying 65 passengers and crew slammed into floors 78-87 of the Trade Center's South Tower,in a tumultuous explosion At this point, everyone realized that New York City was being attacked!
At 9:08am- The FAA closed down all New York area airports and sterilized the airspace over the city. At 9:21am- All bridges and tunnels were closed down in the metropolitan area.
At 9:24am- A third jet, American flight 77 bound from Washington to LosAngeles was hijacked. Two 6 F-16 fighters sent from Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, tried to intercept.
At 9:25am- The New York Stock Exchange delayed all trading.
At 9:26am- The Faa ordered all non-military planes in the U.S. grounded for the first time in history.
At 9:27am- All New York City Airports were shut down!
At 9:29am- Hundreds of rescue workers and fire marshals arrived at the Trade Center, shocked to
see the upper floors ablaze.
At 9"30am- Condoleezza Rice announced that "two airplanes had crashed into The Twin Towers
and that this was a National Emergency!
The New York Stock Exchange was evacuated and all trading suspended.All financial markets throughout the United States were closed!
As oily, black smoke from the burning jet-fuel billowed from The Twin towers, I watched in horror as victims trapped in the fire, jumped out of the windows.
At 9:41am- American flight 77, en route from Washington D.D. to LosAngeles with sixty-four people
aboard, crashed into the Pentagon. The center of the U.S. military erupted into flames and a
portion of the building collapsed. The plane was traveling so low, that it clipped lamp-posts on the
road surrounding the Pentagon. Fighter planes were just twelve minutes away when it hit!
At 9:45am- The White House and the U.S. Capital was evacuated after receiving bomb threats and
all federal buildings in Washington, D. C. were closed down.
At 9:50am- The 110-story south tower of The World Trade Center collapsed. The steel supports
melted from the extreme heat. As it crashed downward into a cloud of smoke, dirt, debris and
paper drifted over Brooklyn and into The Hudson River.
9:59am- Next, an emergency dispatcher in Pennsylvania received a call from a frantic passenger on
on United flight 93 out of Newark, NJ. Panic-stricken, he shouted "We're being hijacked"! and
another passenger was overheard directing the people to "Lets Roll"!
10:00am- United flight 93 traveling to San Francisco with forty-five people aboard crashed into a
field, eighty miles southeast of Pittsburg. The passengers intervened, turned the plane around
and caused it to crash in Pennsylvania, instead of The White House, which was where the plane
There are no words to express the shock and horror that I felt as I watched planes crash and people scream, cry and jump out of the windows from a towering inferno's. All I remember is praying for the
victims, their families and our country.
Next, I saw the firefighters, rescue workers and police officers respond from every direction, racing towards the flaming buildings. Mayor Juliani and a chaplain, both wearing masks, followed.
That day, firefighters, police officers and two thousand innocent victims died from smoke inhalation and falling debris. Father Judge, the chaplain, was kneeling down administering The Last Rights, when he was struck by falling debris and killed instantly.
America was on a High Alert? The attacks on New York was announced over the loud speakers in the train stations heading toward New York and people panicked. The screamed, cried, pushed and shoved, as they tried to board the trains to get back home. Others, already in the City, ran over the Brooklyn Bridge and through the streets of New York looking for safety.
Travelers were stranded all over the world. Our once "Friendly skies" were now ominous and eerie. The National Guard was everywhere, Candlelight vigils were held throughout the City and THE LIGHTS WENT OUT ON BROADWAY!
Almost three thousand people were instantly creamated on that beautiful September morning, simply because they had gone to work. I wondered if we were On The Eve Of Destruction!
In the weeks that followed, photos of missing victims appeareed on all TV stations, in subways and store windows. Firefighters and police officers came from allover the United States to help put out the fires and recover missing bodies and stood at every traffic light throughout the city, collecting money for the families of the victims that were left behind.
Restaurants owners fed the firefighters and police working at ground Zero, free of charge, for months. Celebrities held benefit concerts, scholarships for the children of victims were set up and and people donated blood. Psychologists and doctors volunteered their time to help the traumatized. Everyone slowed down! People smiled more, used manners and treated complete strangers with respect and kindness.
I guess you could say that everyone was in "A New York State Of Mind".