#2064 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
9/11: I was on the phone talking to a realtor when I suddenly heard her scream.

Moments later she told me that a plane hit the World Trade Center. Of course I didn't believe her - it must have hit the 'radio tower' oh, ok no big deal I thought. I assessed how remote of a possiblity of a plane smacking right into the trade center after take off from Newark Airport.

The realtor corrected me stating that she was watching it on TV. I looked at my watch and realized that my husband had most likely just arrived at the World Trade Center. He would travel on the NJ Path train from Hoboken to the WTC and then walk to work on Wall Street.

Then, my phone went dead. The cable TV connection was down. I had no communications. Everyone in my apartment complex was at work. Where to go what to do? I tried the cell phone. No answer. I assessed the possibilities. I still couldn't imagine what went wrong. The thought of a terrorist attack never crossed my mind - after all they tried years before to bomb the WTC and they did some damage, but to try again would be foolhardy.

I received a call - calls in were working it seemed. It was my brother asking about Daniel - I shivered and tears streamed down - What was going on? I wanted to know. I was told that it was an intentional attack. That a second plane hit. Panicking, I pleaded - DANIEL's AT THE WORLD TRADE CENTER!!! I can't reach him! Please try to reach him. I asked my brother to call my husbands family in Arizona and to have them call me.

It seemed like forever until I reached my husband. The phone was staticy. He screamed - oh my god I have to go the building just came down and the dust is comming towards us!

He told me that his company refused to let people back inside. That he had to find shelter.

Our phone connection was cut again.

I didn't hear from my husband for at least an hour.

While all of this was happening I felt helpless & cut off. The only contact I had was a call from my husband's family.

Later I learned that my husband wound up at the American Depository Trust where he was fed - and stuck. With the Staten Island Ferry not running there was no where to go.

I started imagining other attacks, of ways to rescue him. Boat perhaps. Silly me, I ran out of the house to buy a QuickSilver - one of those inflatable
boats that a motor can be attached to. No one, NO ONE around Lake Hopatcong had one for sale.

A call - should I go across the Brooklyn Bridge he asked? NO! I imagined that bridges were an obvious target, and what with all that poisonous smoke - one might die from
inhaling it. Click.

I'd convince someone at the dock in Newport, Jersey City to help me boat on over to rescue my husband I thought. And I took off for Jersey City.

A call from my husband. "The ferry's letting people on" Ok I said where are they taking you? They won't tell us he replied. It's an 'undisclosed location'

So I didn't need a boat afterall. I was on Route 3 now towards NYC. My first glimpse of the billowing smoke
made me gasp. The road was literally empty. The radio blurted out the latest news and reports of road closures - rt 80, rt 3. Army trucks and personnel were everywhere along the highway. I was diverted towards the turnpike. The tollbooth let me turn around & it was there I was stopped trying to move my way through some of those plastic orange cones. "Where are you going an army guy asked." "To rescue my husband I replied". He let me through.

Another call - "They're forcing us onto a bus to an undisclosed location in hoboken" my husband said. What? How unbelievable. How was I to meet him? Some red cross building he said.
At least I knew he was off of that island called Manhattan.

I drove through to the docks in Hoboken where the Spirit of New Jersey takes people on night dinner cruises. It was awash with hundreds of people, army trucks, army people everywhere. I asked them to help me locate my husband.They
had no idea of what I was talking about.

I drove and drove and finally my husband gave me some street off of Kennedy Boulevard in Jersey City. The traffic was bumper to bumper. An hour later I found him on some nearby street corner of the undisclosed location. Dusty, his back completely thrown out. I gave him some Orange juice. I kissed him and vowed that we were going to 'get out of there'.

In the days that followed, NJ shops shut down and schools closed. So many people had lost or known someone who lost a loved one. A state of emergency was declared on several roads in New Jersey.

Yet, this is precisely how people went into work. A week or so later ferry's from Hoboken & Jersey City were brought on line to handle commuters.

As days passed we wondered how New Jerseyans would possibly be able to commute to downtown (Wall Street) New York. Hoboken - Penn Station? Forget it - it would be over a 2 hour commute each way probabally more.

I was glued to TV. Anthrax was the new story - and some was found at the central mail clearing house in Trenton New Jersey. I refused to retrieve my mail from the mailbox - it sat there for over 3 weeks. (Luckilly my important bills went to a scanning billpayment center for online payment and not to me). I couldn't function.

My husband went back to work despite my pleading and every day he told me about the latest problem down at Pier 11. A bomb threat, a car crash into the docks.
His commute was indeed 2 hours+.

I myself was subject to a bomb threat after droping my husband off to commute from Exchange Place Jersey City. Merril Lynch evacuated.

I remember driving in the car listening to a radio show where people called in for help in dealing with 9/11 events. The woman caller sobbed how she didn't want her husband to commute to NYC. That she felt defenseless. That she wanted to move but she couldn't afford to. I immediately identified with the woman and felt relieved. Someone identified with my feelings. They were valid.

My husband & I spoke and we agreed that we would leave NYC as soon as he fulfilled his Contract (which was over in October).

October - I decided it was time that I had to admit to myself that 9/11 really happened. I commuted with my husband to NYC and decided to visit the World Trade Center site. I passed the Wall Street Bull - a poster with Bin Ladins picture was on the bulls rear end. An american flag stuck out of each of the bulls ears. Vendors were selling anti-binladin t-shirts.At least a laugh in such tradgedy.

Many blocks surrounding the Wall Trade Center were closed & blocked off. Business were shut down. A Thick film of dust covered the buildings, the glass windows. Smoke was everywhere and most people sported white breathing masks. That was where I paid my tribute. I took a few photos so I'd remember what I'd seen. One could see right into WTC4 (I believe) The desks, each office- cables everywhere. And part of the top of a nearby building looking like more debris was about to fall. Piles were everywhere. Other visitors cried. Army men hurried people along (Security threat).

It wasn't until January when I finally got my husband to end his contract. Family reasons he told his Wall Street Employer. His Manager was there - she knew.

Subsequently, we took a First wedding anniversary cruise in the Carribean. We had to fly to Florida. Security at the Airport was extremely tight. My husband was frisked - our luggage searched.

One month later we applied for a HSMP visa to the UK. We took a trip to visit my husbands family in Arizona. I think this was the end of April. It was a must - it was the first they would see him since 9/11.

Upon reaching Dallas where our flight stopped over, we learned that the plane before us onroute to Dallas had been downed because a person onboard the plane went ballistic. What a close call.

During our stay we learned that our visa had been approved. We picked up our visa at the British Embassy in NYC after returning to New Jersey. What an ecstatic day. We were moving to England!!!!

Two months later and two apartment sales later, we flew to London.

And we're glad we're here.

We've heard over the past year about stories of hundreds of New Yorkers wanting to 'get out' and start a life somewhere else. To some, the greener grass is just that - green grass- trees, traffic free and ambulence sound free sleep. For many, especially Wall Street guys, this requires a complete Career change unless they want to commute from NJ or Connecticut or Long Island (Yeah, space on Long Island right!)

More space. To others, options are not as open. We chose London. I still desire the green space - a nice house with a nice backyard, but that will come when my husband opts out of finance. Or, when we move to Surrey - someday.

Today, 9/11/2002 1:13pm British Time, I am filled with hope and the excitement of new beginnings. Everyone needs a fresh start at various points in their life. 9/11 exposed my desire for a new beginning and hastened my action.

Compared to New Yorkers and New Jerseyans, the British seem much more apathetic of their 'system'. I hope on this day they take a moment to appreciate the opportunities and social support systems that they DO have.

Of course I wish that peoples worldwide should learn to live in peace with one another - but what is Peace?

Simply put - the respect and tolerance of another persons differences - be that religion or lack thereof, looks,
or whatever else you might consider a shortcomming. That been said, the respect must be returned as one should not infringe upon the belief systems (or lack thereof) of others.

When 9/11 happened, the US Newspapers Countrywide reported that people were becomming more religious. Children were now being FORCED to say the pledge of allegiance in school despite the fact that many did not share a belief in the 'god' that was prostheletised by the country - they believed in a different god, many gods, and many - no god at all. To me, the intollerance of others beliefs during this time smacked in the face of everything our country - the USA- was supposed to have stood for.

Freedom. Choice. I don't remember hearing the constitution place *contingencies* upon either of these.

Each of us has a story.
Thank you for reading mine.

From, London UK

Cindy Rosengarten | 31 | United Kingdom

#2065 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
I was on vacation in Sedona, Arizona and on the way to the Grand Canyon with my husband and my parents from Germany who were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. I was showering when my husband who was watching TV said that a plane just hit the world trade center. I thought he was talking about a movie and when I saw the pictures on TV I still thought it was a movie, until it sank in - partly because the news person was so shaken and did not know what to say. They are always the ones so calm talking about war every day, but that day even they did not know what to do. I went to my parent's room and told them. They were so calm, it almost drove me crazy - but they went through WW 2 where they were bombed out every night and went through horrors they do not talk about. I also think that it really did not sink in until they went home to Germany and had people come up and hug them, glad that they are alive, because all they knew was that my parents were in America, but they did not know where.
We decided to continue our vacation and headed to the Grand Canyon. We stopped listening on the radio after a while and just chose to be glad we have this time together. One never knows what the next day will bring.
Stephanie | 34 | Minnesota

#2066 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
I was @ my college. My prof, told us, and i wasn't quite sure what he was goin on bout, till later...it was shocking tho, everyone @ my school was talking bout it...talked bout it for months...
Canadians feel tho, as if we're not being recognized for our support..
It would seem all USA is praising and recognizing is fellow americans and Britain. I myself, believe it's not fair for us canadians to go unnoticed. USA and Britain are such buddy buddies, and yet we're USA's neighbour, and we get absalutly nothing? i don't believe this is fair.
Randi | 22 | Canada

#2067 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
I was actually in the hospital having my second child. I had went in the night before, she was born at 10:46am, right around the time that the second tower fell.Autumn Brooke Barnes.I have something wonderful out of that day, while others lost loved ones. God Bless!
DAWN BARNES | 28 | North Carolina

#2068 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
I was one of the luck ones.
Commuting into the city was hard enough before Sept 11th, I never expected to have to worry about my life.
The Path had stopped. A few seconds after I stepped out of the train, I heard and felt a 'boom' and some of the fire retardant material covering the beams fell in front of me. I looked around and people were milling and walking around as usual, not disturbed by the sound. I started smelling oil. I looked back and thought 'should I jump back into the train?' The last thing I wanted was to be trapped in a train car somewhere between NY and NJ; second only to that was to be trapped underground. I decided that I was going to make a run for it (to the street) and alert people as I left.
I told myself "don't look back- If it is a false alarm, I'll get some excersize, otherwise I'll find out what happened on the news after I am away from here." As I was proceeding out quickly telling everyone to get out, one person who was standing around asked me 'should I be leaving?'.
I was amazed that more people didn't start walking fast/running/etc. When I was near the exit, I briefly looked right down a corridor and saw smoke and people running. At that point, I knew something had happened; I wasn't sure what (bomb/internal explosion). As I left the building, I saw debris of all sorts falling and a gallery of people staring up. Seeing papers, briefcases, and other small items falling all around me, I started running to get around all the people who were stopped and staring at the mayhem. As I was running through the empty spaces without people to get to the street, I started screaming at them to run away from the building. I again was amazed that they were so stunned. My new goal was to get far away from the site - the staten island ferry seemed to be the furtherest point away from the site, where I might be able to get off of the island (Manhattan is an Island off the coast of NJ). I had to weave in and around people who were unaware what just happened. When I finally arrived around ten minutes later at the ferry, I tried to call my wife on my mobile phone, the line was dead. I ran to a phone booth and tried calling-the line was busy. Then I talked to the people at the ferry to see if I could leave-no luck. I was told that an airplane had hit the WTC. I thought to myself 'wha are the chances of that happening', just like in the story 'The world according to Garp'. Since I was stuck on the island, I decided to head immediately to where I worked (An Investment firm), to see if I could be of any use.
When I arrived, everyone was OUTSIDE the building. I was told, since the plane could have been caused by terrorism, our building was the largest on the waterfront. After a few minutes, we saw the second plane fly straight for the WTC. At that point we realized it was an act of terrorism. I thought 'what would happen if they had biological weapons on-board?' After a few minutes discussing our emegency procedures, we saw the top of the WTC fall over. It looked like it was in a movie. I thought for a second, and said "uh-oh. We have a problem, who is following me!" I was asked why, and replied "take a look, the smoke and whatever is inside is heading our way, we can't be outside. I'm leaving in 10 seconds whoever wants to follow is more than welcome". After 10 Seconds, I stated I was on my way and headed toward the water, another co-worker followed' While I was sprinting, my cell phone rang! Still running, I answered it-my brother. I politely told him I that I was ok, but currently running for my life (not knowing what was in the plume of smoke heading our way). Upon reaching the water, We saw a multitude of people trying to cross the bridge. Thinking it was ludicrous to cross and be stuck in the middle of the bridge,just to get smoke inhalation, We decided to duck into the DTC (Depository Trust Corporation-where they hold peoples securities certificates), which had double doors.
Before getting inside the DTC, we couldn't breath because of the smoke. We put our shirts over our mouths and quickly made it in the doors of the DTC.

Within minutes, the smoke engulfed everything. It became dark, and strangely cold. Now THIS made me worried. I didn't know what chemicals I breathed in, but the deed was done. I felt terrible for the large number of people who were on the bridge, not being able to breathe, and I didn't have any equipment to help them- All I could do is wait and let people use my phone to let people know they were OK.
One of the workers had a radio, so we turned it on and listened to the news. We couldn't see outside because of the smoke.
I called my wife to let her know I was OK. She was hysterical and told me she was going to find a way to get me off the island. I tried to convice her to stay put, but once she has decided something, it is impossible to change her mind.
When the smoke started clearing a few hours later, we found out that emergency ferry services were transporting people to the red cross. So all the people who needed to go to NJ, decided to walk to the ferry services together. We were amazed how quickly police and military were deployed around the area. I helped people over the road divider to get to the area the ferries were docked. Unfortunately, one of the more portly women was a little too heavy and fell on me, which threw my back out. Luckily the woman was OK and the last one. I hobbled over to the ferry and was taked across the water to the Red cross center. It took several hours for me to contact my wife and find an appropriate meeting place. As the hours went by, my back started hurting me more and more, but there were many others who really needed help from the emergency teams.
My wife had driven to Jersey city upon hanging up the phone. She tried to buy a boat to cross the river, but couldn't. It took several phone calls, each with a heightening frustration level until I knew where should could meet me.
I was ecstatic to finally see my wife. She had been terribly worried for me.
All the roads were closed, so getting home was difficult.
I was very glad to get home to my loving wife.

Every day, for weeks, The air smelled acrid and the military was everywhere.
Every day, my wife worried about the chemicals I was inhaling, just being in manhattan.
Every day, my wife worried there would be more attacks, since there were many unpublicized bomb threats in buildings, the docks, and subways.
Every day, my wife worried about the commuting, which took 3+ hours each way.
Every day, my wife worried about hearing about which of our friends were just missing or dead.
I finally found a way to ease my wife's worry - we moved.

I feel terrible for all the families and friends which were affected by not only attack, but by the great demands placed on the many people who helped get everyone affected back on their feet again.

I am also in debt to all those people in the public service for their continued dedication and help.

I can only state, I am one of the luck ones.
Daniel Rosengarten | 35 | New York

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