Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11

Note: I wrote this about 2 years ago.

I have been reading Lori D's blog the last few days and came across a entry that brought back a lot of pain and sorrow. I have tried to avoid many of the memories, not out of disrespect or anything. It just brings back a lot of sorrow for what I saw that day. Until recently have I started to deal with it. So I wanted to share with you mine and many others experience and many people experienced the same thing or worse.

I will remember that day till the day I die. I worked on the 47th floor of the second building that got hit. I remember that morning was so beautiful as I looked over the Hudson River into NJ and then looking further down the river to see the statue of Liberty. I often did this every morning before starting my work. I turned to my desk and said hello to a co-worker as he came in and sat at his desk.

I was sitting there no more than 10 minutes before I heard what sounded to me like a big explosion. I suddenly felt our office get warmer as the building vibrated and moved from the concussion from the other building. I though a BIG bomb went off in our building. I ran to window of my office and saw a lot of smoky papers falling in front of me. I thought we were hit for sure. I got REALLY nervous and told my co-worker that we should get out of the building so we proceeded to the stairwell where other workers where gathering, debating on leaving or not. I told them, are you crazy, we should get out and gather out front if possible and then decide what to do from there(good thing we did).

We proceeded down the stairs and as we got to each floor it would slow some as other people were also trying to get down the stairs. I remember looking into several firemen eyes as they ran up the same stairs everyone else was running down (God bless them all and their families). I remember hearing over the intercom that a small plane had hit the other building and it was safe to return to our offices, but what I felt when the first plane hit told me not to listen to their advice, so I continued down the stairs. 30th floor, 20th floor, I was starting to get a little winded but could not slow down too much fearing I'd get run over. So I continued. I finally made it down to the lobby, where the police was directing everyone to go to the plaza area to exit through the plaza. As I hurried myself through the plaza, I remember so any faces with terror in the eyes, something I hadn't seen in person before. I started to get a haunting feeling as I started to hear thuds above me, thinking it was debris from the fire I continued. I finally made it to the exit and continued to the outside where it was mayhem all around. I looked up to see a huge fire burning. As I turned to walk up the street I heard another explosion and I looked up just as the building I was just standing in blow up in a ball of flames. It scared the crap out of me and I ran as debris started to fall around me. When l I was a few blocks away I finally paused for a few minutes as I looked back and finally realized what the thuds I heard in the plaza was. I saw people jumping to their death to get away from the flames as each floor was engulfed in flames. I decided to go home. So I got on the last train leaving the area before they shut down the subway. I remember walking down the block and seeing people crying historically and others trying to comfort them at the same time trying to absorb what was happening around us.

The horrible things I saw that day still haunts me at times. I finally visited a memorial this year at a local park and as I stood there reading the names. I had to sit down as I broke down remembering all the faces I saw of the firemen, police and others that day. Yes, we should never forget those that died that day. How many are scared for life. I'm reminded how lucky I am to be standing here today. We must NEVER forget that day. God bless us all.

Michelle Lee