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Recommend (2 recommendations so far) Message 1 of 189 in Discussion
From: BabyDecember2 (Original Message) Sent: 9/8/2004 11:17 AM
On Saturday, it will be three years since the attack on The World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the downed plane in PA. I wanted to start a thread where we can all talk about our experiences with this great tradegy. Where were you when it happened? How have you dealt with it? Are you doing anything to commemorate the victims? I know this may be a sensitive subject for some to deal with, and many don't like to re-live the whole experience, but for me, who actually did LIVE the experience, it really helps me to talk about it, and to hear everyone else's perspective of the events that day.
Here is my story: I use to work for Cantor Fitzgerald on the 103rd floor of One World Trade Center. I started working there in the spring of 1998, and left the firm in January 2001. Before leaving, I got my younger sister a job in the Credit / Risk department where she worked on the 101st Floor. That morning, the weather was perfect, it was a gorgeous morning, and I remember getting to work early, my boss was on the phone and he ran out to me, and said that a plane just hit the WTC, the first words out of my mouth, were OMG, my sister works there. We ran to the conference room, where we had a clear view of the towers. Once I saw the gaping fire hole in the building, I knew that those were the Cantor floors, and my heart dropped. I ran back to my desk, and had 2 voicemails from my sisters (I have 5 of them, and 2 brothers!!) I tried calling my mother's house (my sis still lived at home) and no one answered, which scared me even more because that meant that she wasn't home and was either on her way to work, or already there. I couldn't even think about the latter. I called her fiance because he sometimes drove her into work, and by the sound of his voice, I knew he hadn't. I tried calling her office, no answer, I tried calling my old boss, no answer, I tried calling her boss, no answer...
My older sister then called me, and told me that she couldn't get in touch w/ my parents (turns out my dad was in church and my mom was voting), and that brother in law (who is a fireman) was on his way into the city, then she screamed and said that another plane just hit the other tower. My phone lines was ringing like crazy from my other sisters and my friends who all knew that my sister had worked there, by then, my office was buzzing, and people kept coming over to see if I was ok. I actually was, I wasn't even crying.
Then, I called my parents house again, and my father picked up, I could barely hear him over my mother screaming and crying about her baby, that's when I lost it, I just told my dad to call me when he heard from Maureen. After what seemed like hours, her fiance called me, and told me that she was fine. She was stuck on the train, and didn't know anything had happened, he told her to get back on the train and come back home, he was meeting her at the train station in Queens. I threw up, and told my boss that I was leaving, but he said that everyone was leaving, they were evacuating the building.
Once outside, midtown Manhattan had become a mob scene. I was working near Times Square, and if it was 80 degrees and sunny, I would've thought it was NYE. I walked to the train station, got on the train, only to have the conductor say that they were closing all the bridges and tunnels into and out of Manhattan. I got off the train, and ran into my friend Angela, who I went to school with and hadn't seen for years!! She also lived in Queens and we decided to walk home. I remember going into a store and buying a pack of smokes (I had just quit, but decided that this wasn't the time to start analyzing my health!!) and smoked about 1/2 the pack by the time we got over the bridge into Queens...
About a block from my parents house, I could see my dad and my sister outside, all smoking, and as soon as I saw my baby sister's face, I broke down, I started crying uncontrollably, once she saw my face, she started to cry too, then my dad. We all hugged and cried for a long time. Once that was done, my dad said to me, you have one good cry left for your mother, she needs to see you. Once she heard the front door open, I could hear her crying. She hugged my sister and I so hard. The rest of the day is really like a blur. I remember trying to sleep, but needing to watch TV to see what was going on, I remember telling my parents that I wanted to stay there w/ them for the rest of the week, I remember going home and hugging my roommate and crying because she is a cop and we both knew the job she had in front of her was going to be the toughest of her life. I remember that night, sleeping next to my sister and just thinking things could've been so different if she wasn't stuck on the trian, or if Pete had drove her into work.
This Saturday, we will be going to a Cantor memorial in the afternoon. It still feels like yesterday, and I still ache for all those that we lost. I will never forget that day as long as I live, and I will never forget all my friends, and the good people that I lost, and all those that I didn't know that are gone now.
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Recommend Message 2 of 189 in Discussion
From: Jilli4425 Sent: 9/8/2004 11:32 AM
Baby D ~
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I live in Dallas, but my heart is always in NYC. I love the city and visit any chance I get. I am happy for your family. It is a day we will all remember, I'm sure. And to always remember those we lost.
Thank you again!
Recommend Message 3 of 189 in Discussion
From: GH_Angie_OL Sent: 9/8/2004 11:45 AM
What a story BabyDecember!! I am very removed (geographically-speaking) from those events of September 11th but I remember watching everything unfold on TV that day like it was yesterday!! And reading your post has me in tears!! I can't even begin to imagine how you & your family felt that day.
I remember someone coming into our office and said "did you see...." and we didn't actually understand or believe what he was saying at the time.... that was right after the first plane hit.
My kids were 6 & 8 at the time and it is something that I think they will never forget either. My son just mentioned the fact that his first rocket-football game is on September 11th and that he didn't really like that. He thinks that is a "sad" day.... he is 9 now. The terrorist acts that day have affected everyone and it is definitely not something that is just going to be forgotten!!
God bless all of us!!
Recommend Message 4 of 189 in Discussion
From: Shark_lover1 Sent: 9/8/2004 11:48 AM
BabyD ~ Thank you for sharing your story.
I cannot believe it has been three years, time has passed, but the emotions of watching people fleeing for their lives, searching for their loved ones and just seeing the images from that day over and over will never leave me.
The one thing I do miss however from that time, is how people put their differences aside and came together as human beings and Americans to help one another through the tough times. It seems as though many have forgotten some of the lessons we should have learned on that day and the days and weeks that followed; but I have a glimmer of hope that many of us remember.
Recommend Message 5 of 189 in Discussion
From: BabyDecember2 Sent: 9/8/2004 11:55 AM
The one thing I do miss however from that time, is how people put their differences aside and came together as human beings and Americans to help one another through the tough times.
Shark lover ~ that's an excellent point!! This country was truly united for a while there sometimes I still see it usually when things get tense in the city w/ the heightened alerts or extra security w/ the convention, but for the most part, some people don't even like to recognize such a great loss. One of my sister's friends asked her what she was doing on Saturday, and she said, going to church, then the memorial, then going home, and he said, "Geez, you're still upset?? You should celebrate life instead of death" and she replied, " How about I celebrate after I mourn for the 50 or so people that I knew personally?"
0 recommendations Message 6 of 189 in Discussion
Sent: 9/8/2004 11:59 AM
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0 recommendations Message 7 of 189 in Discussion
Sent: 9/8/2004 12:00 PM
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Recommend Message 8 of 189 in Discussion
From: GH_Angie_OL Sent: 9/8/2004 12:02 PM
Sorry for the delete.... I was having a terrible time expressing myself there!
I agree that we should celebrate life!! But I also believe that we all owe it to the innocent people that lost their lives because of the terrorists attacks on our free country to remember them and remember the events of September 11th.
Recommend Message 9 of 189 in Discussion
From: BabyDecember2 Sent: 9/8/2004 12:04 PM
GH Angie ~ I also agree we should celebrate life, and we (my sis and I) do. We celebrate with our sons (mine is 9 mos. old, her's will be 2 in Oct), but it's hard to think of the positive when you have lost someone personally. I know it's a weird comparison, but when you work w/ people 5 days a week, 8 or more hours a day, you see them more than you see your family, and if you are lucky, you learn to really care about these people that you spend so much time with. You care about them as friends, sometimes even more than that, you care about them as a brother or sister, or father or mother...and that's what it was like for her. She was the only one from her department that lived, the rest of the dept. was in early for a conference call w/ London. I guess for some people, the hurt doesn't sting as much as it use to, and to them, it's just a sad day....
Recommend Message 10 of 189 in Discussion
From: CFF_and_JFF Sent: 9/8/2004 12:16 PM
I agree we should celebrate life, but I also think we should remember the deaths even more. Everyone that is celebrating life seems to be doing so because they were that lucky that they werent near any of the events. We seem to celebrate the fact it was OUR lives that werent taken away and I think that is justified. Be happy you are alive, I am, every moment of every day. But in regards to people who feel that the day happened and now we should move on I really dont see any justification in their statements. We are celebrating because we can, we are alive, breathing and experiencing everything, those who died could not.
For once I would like to see everyone go back to the day of Sept 11 and remember how everyone came together in that time of need. No one cared who was what religion, who was what age, or who was what race. In the end we were all humans in need of help. That was the day America truly symbolized unselfish actions. We had heroes come in and risk their lives to save others they didnt even know. We had people donate blood to give others a chance at a life that they otherwise may not have had. To say it was just a sad day is an understatement. Its true death is sad, but is that it? Those 4,000 people died and its just sad? I dont think so. We should celebrate our lives just as we should celebrate theirs. The fact that they died for no reason what so ever. The fact that the lives of their loved ones will never be the same while ours seem to be. The reason we all hesitate to rememeber the dead is because it is truly depressing, to go back to that time and remember everything that happened. No one wants to be upset, but for once I would like for everyone to go back to the mentality of September 11th and realize that not everything is about "me" or "you". Just like it wasnt just about "me" or "you" when many of us wept for those we lost. We didnt weep for "me" or "you" we wept for "US".
IMO September 11th defined America for what it can be if we all try. That even in our worst moments, America can come together and be the land of the brave.
Recommend Message 11 of 189 in Discussion
From: BabyDecember2 Sent: 9/8/2004 1:09 PM
LNJ ~ ICAM. Your point about ppl. not wanting to remember death because it is depressing is so true. But if people did remember, then maybe they would also remember how we did come together as a nation. But, people also came together on a much smaller level...They came together as a state, a city, a neighborhood, etc...I remember walking over the bridge that day, and helping this woman with her kids get over the barricade they had, and I remember a few men, giving those kids the last of their water bottles...I remember when that Friday, on the day of rememberence, my whole neighborhood, was out in the streets w/ candles, singing God Bless America, and Amazing Grace....I remember going to the piers in Long Island City and looking at that beautiful skyline, that was burning, and hugging a woman there who's husband was a cop and he was working 24 hours and she hadn't seen him, and missed him so much...Maybe if people remembered that...
Recommend Message 12 of 189 in Discussion
From: Shark_lover1 Sent: 9/8/2004 1:11 PM
I think unfortunately, our society's focus isn't on the things that it was on in the days following September 11. IMHO, we have become more materialistic, more intolerant, etc.... We have lost focus that what really matters is how we treat one another as human beings and that all of the frivilous stuff in the larger scheme of things is not important.
I agree we should celebrate life - we also need to remember those who lost their lives. It can be done in many ways - attending a church service, attending a memorial, reflecting, etc... and perhaps one of the greatest ways IMHO to remember those people is to go back to the way we all came together at the time of our lives. If anything could be gleaned from that ugly day, it should be the beauty that was found in the simplist things - from someone clapping to show support for a fireman, to lighting a candle for the fallen.
Recommend Message 13 of 189 in Discussion
From: BabyDecember2 Sent: 9/8/2004 1:17 PM
Shark ~ I remember on the first anniversary, my hubby and I went to the firehouse 2 blocks from my apartment, and we set up 3 candles, one red, one white and one blue, and this fireman came out, and set up a table for us to light the candles on and spoke to us for a few...the next morning, on my way to work, I passed the firehouse, and noticed that the little table was filled w/ flowers, more candles, american flags, and pictures...and the same fireman, came out, ready to go home, winked at me, and said Thanks...look what you started!! It made me feel great to do something for me, and I promised myself that every year, I will go to a firehouse and light 3 candles, one red, one white and one blue for them, this is obviously the least I could do for them...
Recommend Message 14 of 189 in Discussion
From: foxwen Sent: 9/8/2004 2:54 PM
Your story was so moving, my heart sank for you as I read it, but I am happy that your sister was and is safe. I'm here in CT and also work in the Investment Field. We used to use Cantor many years ago for our equity business and I had close personal ties with some. They had left Cantor many years before 9/11 and we really never used them as brokerage after that time. I have heard horrid stories from others about the intercom system, it must have been so horrible for them. After 9/11 I went searching for my "Cantor Fitzgerald / I survived the World Trade Center bomb", I found it, it held so many good memories, and then I had to remember walking through those offices and looking out at the sky. The brokers used to tell me how they always saw small aircrafts flying around. So when we were watching TV (CNBC) here in the office, my first thought went back to what the brokers said. It must of been an accident. But whenever they showed the 2nd plane live hitting the other tower, my whole office cried out loud, we knew then that it wasn't an accident. We didn't need to attend work the next day, since the market was closed, but we all showed up, I think it was more for comfort than anything else. It was a sad time in history for us, but it was also a comforting time. A time when we all came together and cried, laughed and alot of hugging.
Lets keep the hope and lets not forget the lives that were lost on that day.
Recommend Message 15 of 189 in Discussion
From: -friscoandfelicia- Sent: 9/8/2004 4:32 PM
I was standing on Fifth Avenue and 16th street staring at tower 1 smoking, when i saw the plane fly into tower 2. I was standing watching the whole thing, when I went up to my office. I then came down, ready to walk back home, and was on the street when I saw the tower collapse. I walked back to my apartment (over 4 miles)and was in shock for 2 days and then broke down. It was a little surreal for me, i live by the UN and the secutiry there, for months after, was unbelievable.
My good friend walked down 95 flights of stairs in tower 2 and went back and helped people down.
I still cannot get those images out of my head.
Recommend Message 16 of 189 in Discussion
From: CFF_and_JFF Sent: 9/8/2004 4:49 PM
Wow I dont know what to say after reading your post. I cant even imagine what it must be for the people who were in NY during Sept 11....
One thing I will never understand is why and how people can do what they do. I mean everything that terrorism involves. The beheading, the killing of innocent people, the car bombs. I mean who are they doing this for? What point is it proving? If you want to rally support for your cause do it so people respect you...not fear you. I remember I was in dowtown Chicago near the Sears tower shopping when I heard about the attacks. Every thing was insane just because we thought we might be next. And no matter how much time passes I still cant seem to understand why it happened. What did it accomplish? I just still pray that we might see a day in the future when the world really will live in peace.