Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9/11/01 - Never Forget

A few years ago I was on a committee at work and as part of my duties on this committee, I was to post things on the company intranet site for the holidays and events that were happening.  Not just holidays like Easter and Christmas but the holidays we have all heard about but no one really knows where they came from and why we have them.  Holidays like April Fools Day for example.

Anyway, while I was on this committee, it was the 10th anniversary of 9/11, that horrific day we will never forget.  I thought I would do something different and decided to ask the employees what they remember from that day.  Below is a response I received and it has stuck with me.  I hope you like it as much as I did.

As told to me by Erik Knoyer

My Story:  I was living in NYC at the time.  From my kitchen window you could clearly see the north tower of the WTC.  The building across the alley blocked my view of the other tower.  I didn’t notice anything strange that morning as I grabbed a coffee and headed to work, aside from two girls crying on the street.  When I got to work my boss was yelling that we were “under attack”.  He grabbed me by the collar and we walked up 3 stories to the roof of his building, where we had a direct view across the river.  Both towers had already been hit.  I ran down about 6 blocks to my apartment to wake my roommate and bring her back with me.  By the time we returned to the rooftop, the first tower had already fallen.  I was shocked.  “I was just here and there were two”, I remember thinking.  Jets and helicopters flew above as we took turns sharing the binoculars until we realized that we were seeing people jumping from the remaining tower.  We decided not to use them anymore after that.  It wasn’t much later when the second tower fell.  We spent the rest of the day sitting on the roof watching the wind shift the smoke from heading in our direction to more towards Southern Brooklyn.  There were about 6 of us on the roof getting sunburned and frantically trying to get a hold of anyone we knew that worked anywhere near the WTC or our family members to let them know we were okay on our cell phones.  It took a long time to get through to my mom.  She asked me to leave New York within just a few minutes of our conversation.  We eventually went inside and continued to watch coverage on the news.  All of my friends that worked in Manhattan had to walk home to Brooklyn via the bridges that night due to the subways being shut down.  That night my friends and I gathered to verify that we were okay, that no one was missing.  I was fortunate enough not to have lost someone close to me that day.  I left New York 7 years ago.  Part of me feels that I need to go back for the anniversary to visit the friends that I shared that terrible day with, largely because it pulled us closer together.  We were there that day.

God continue to bless the U.S.A.

R. K. Avery