I don’t remember if I ever talked about where I was when the Twin Towers were attacked twenty-two years ago. For those of you that don’t know, I used to work on television commercials in the production aspect of them. The production company I worked at had its studio on Lafayette between Astor and East 4th down in the Village. Basically it was a half of block away from Tower Records/Video.
I remember how nice the day was. It was cooler than the day before. The blue skies didn’t have a cloud to be seen. It was the perfect September day. One of the guys I worked with had the production van coming back from a pickup of equipment and I was going to grab it to go down to Worth and Hudson to pick up a special light for set. We were prepping to film a razor commercial that week in studio and our locations side of the company was out on Long Island already shooting.
My buddy with the van was running late and when he got to the studio he busted through the door and yelled “We are under attack!” Everyone asked him what he was talking about and he said he saw a plane hit one of the Twin Towers. I being naive thought it was a small Cessna or plane that size that might have hit the building. He said no. It was a jetliner. I was shocked. We threw on the TV and saw the news channels freaking out trying to figure out what was going on. We ran up to the roof to see what was going on with our eyes and saw the smoke billowing out of the struck building. I can still see it vividly in my mind's eye. We all stayed up there for a few minutes then went back down in time to see the second plane hit on the TV. I can't get the plane flying into the building and the fireball shooting out the front of the building live on TV. It was like a gut punch. We ran back to the roof of our building again and I lost all concept of time. I saw specks falling out if the windows off the higher floors. I thought it was debris. Later on I found out it was people. People who went to work that day jumping out the windows of the WTC so they wouldn't burn to death. They had rather jump. It floored me later on that day when I found this out.
While on the roof, we saw the first tower fall. Than the second. I couldn't believe the way they collapsed on themselves. The smoke coming from where the buildings stood was so thick, you could almost believe that the buildings were still there with what look like a silhouette. It was just wishful thinking. Time just stopped. Finally when we came out of the moment one of the other folks I was on the roof with noticed people walking up Lafayette covered in white dust. These were people who were down at Ground Zero and ran away from the plumes of crushed concrete, crushed glass, and whatever other things that were airborne after the towers fell. We ran down to the basement where we stored our beverages and grabbed all the bottled water we had to give to as many folks we could so they could clean their eyes and faces and to get the dust out of their mouths and throats. We brought folks in to the bathrooms in our offices and the stage. The super brought folks to other bathrooms in the building to so they could clean up. We let them use our landline phones so they could contact their families because the cell phone lines were overwhelmed. I still can't picture being down around that area when chaos was happening. It was surreal then as it still is surreal now. I still have a connection to some of the folks I used to work with at that stage and I probably always will.
Later on the National Guard came into the city. We saw fighter jets flying over the skyline. It was something out of a movie. I still cant believe it. I was trying to figure out if I had anyone that I knew that might have been down in that area and I couldn't think of anyone. Then I found out a person I went to grammar school lost her brother. It was his first day working his new job working in one of the towers working on an elevator there.
I drove some of my co workers back to Queens later on that day and I couldn't get over seeing the National Guard carrying there machine guns on Park Ave by Grand Central Terminal while the fighter jets were circling Manhattan. I can't shake anything that I have written about on this post since the day it happened. This is one of "THOSE EVENTS" for me like one of "THOSE EVENTS" that my parents told me had happened to them when they were younger. I never thought one of those kind events would happen in my lifetime.
Never Forget is more than a slogan. This is etched into a lot of us that were in the area and a lot of Americans that saw this on TV.
Thanks for reading this. I know it isn't Metscentric but I feltl like it was time for me to tell this personal account of mine. To everyone who was down there, to the families who lost their loved ones, to people who lost their friends, and to the people who lost their lives, I will Never Forget.