9/11 - 'He never made it'


Here are a few posts sent in by our readers, describing what happened to them on September 11th, when the terrorists struck the Twin Towers:

1. 'I was in the London offices of Cantor Fitzgerald, talking on the telephone to Ed York, the firm's US HR Director, who was at his desk on the 102nd floor of the North Tower. As we talked, he instantly reacted to the explosion, and said he was getting out. Sadly, along with 657 other Cantor employees, he never made it. It's a memory that will inevitably stay with me forever'.

2. 'I was sitting in my high school classroom, and my Spanish teacher had dragged a television into the room so we could watch what was happening. The news had spread slowly through the hallways, and my teacher had two grown sons that worked in the area (the Trade Center). As she flipped on the news, our principal was frantically running around the halls, looking into each classroom and turning off any television that was on because he didn't want us to see what was going on.

'As he entered our room, I'll never forget what my teacher said to him... 'As Americans, every one of us has a right to watch what is happening right now. Do not touch that television, because if you do, I will physically remove you from my classroom. These students deserve to know, and I deserve to know if my sons are going to be okay. There are some things you just never forget'.

3. 'It was around 8am, as I was taking my daughter to school, when a plane flew so low that I could see the passengers waving. I thought it strange, as I'd never seen a plane that low.

'By the time I reached my office, the first plane had hit. You could see the Tower clearly from our office windows. Like so many people that morning, I fled back to my neighbourhood, picked up my daughter, and returned to the safety of my home. To this day I'm not sure if that low-flying plane we saw was the first to hit the Towers. The memory of those people will never leave my mind'.

4. 'I was on the last flight that the FAA permitted to land at La Guardia, and saw the second plane hit the South Tower from my airplane window. It was incomprehensible, and from our vantage point impossible to process what we were seeing'.

5. 'I was on an elevated train platform staring at the Twin Towers, as I did many mornings before. I'd always aspired to work there. I watched a tiny object hit one of the Towers. I dropped my beverage in shock. As the train continued travelling down the Bronx, the tower looked like a burning candle. Once at work, I watched the news and heard that a second plane had hit the other Tower. The Pentagon was also hit. It was time to leave New York and go home. Period'.

6. 'I was on a conference call with colleagues who were in the North Tower. We heard what sounded like an explosion. There was confusion as our colleagues said that they had to evacuate. And then the line went dead'.

7. 'This event made me love New York and New Yorkers even more. I will always remember the fear and the sadness. There are faces I will never forget - like the man who stopped me on my way home and showed me a photograph of his missing son. I will never forget the compassion, the strength and the humanity that terrible day brought forth'.

8. 'I looked down from my office window. There were troops on the streets. This didn't happen in New York. Our collective reality changed forever that day'.

9. 'We watched in stunned silence as the first plane flew directly into the Tower. That image will stay with me for the rest of my days'.

10. 'Colleagues were held back from leaving the World Trade Center by firefighters because of falling debris. It was only later we learned that 'the debris' was, in fact, human beings who elected to jump rather than be burned alive. God rest their souls'.

11. 'I had just graduated, and remember driving over George Washington Bridge at 2am that morning. I recall telling my girlfriend that I would miss the view. A few hours later that view had changed forever'.

12. 'My sister-in-law worked for Marsh in the WTC. She was missing. On the morning of September 12th, an enormous 'Monarch' butterfly centered in on my living room. It remained motionless for almost a minute, then slowly flew three times around the room, before it disappeared out the window.

'We never did find Ginger - not even a trace. But her memory goes on. And I'm convinced that this was her saying goodbye. Two years later, my wife died of cancer, and that message from Ginger helped me through that tragedy too. Thank you Ginger. God bless you'.


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