September 12th, 2001

I wasn't gonna post anything on WTC, but I got this tonight, and thought others might be interested.

This is a first-person account from a coworker of mine. I was with him in
that training room, and he left before I did. I'm just about ready to start
working on my account, but it may take awhile. My entire company, the whole
North America organization, with many people in Manhattan and DC, came
through in one piece and all-accounted-for, though some have lost loved
ones. Our prayers go out.


> -----Original Message-----
> Sent: Wednesday, 12 September 2001 17:01
> Subject: tuesday morning...
> Hi All,
> I hope that you are all ok, and that all is good on this end. i've been
> able to touch base with most people from around here and just want to
> express what the fuck is going on. unfortunately, i was down by wtc
> yesterday and had a first hand experience of it. I dont' want to spam
> this, but shit's fuct right now... enjoy and pass on.
> ------------------------------------------------------
> First Strike, an account from the front line
> Tuesday morning, a good nightâ™s sleep after a night that had an
> insignificant amount of paranoia in it. Why, where was it from? A week
> after having too vivid of a dream about being drafter to war. Getting to
> the office early, which is unusual of me because of training that we set
> up. I was having breakfast in a crowded conference room getting ready
> for the usual day of work. This guy runs in the room, freakin out, sayin
> that a plane crashed into the world trade center. I was like, "yeah
> right, you fucken shittin us". He was like "NO, look in my bag, look at
> this debris!" With that, we believed. Checked and saw a picture
> of one of the twin tower buildings with a hole in it. I didnâ™t want to
> run out, we thought it was accidental. Thinking could terrorism hit this
> hard, this real? Nah, it was accidental, itâ™s no big deal A plane hit
> the empire state building 50 years ago. That survived. Thatâ™s still
> around.
> Second hit
> The building shook, the windows vibrated and everyone screamed what the
> fuck was that??? We ran out and headed downstairs. Hit the lobby, saw
> pictures of what was going on on the tv screen at 55 Broad st. Ran
> outside, saw people running through the streets. An older lady was
> screaming "believe in jesus". Huh? This is unreal. Getting the accounts.
> Initial thoughts were that a piece of the first plane hit the 2nd. But
> people started saying that it was a 2nd plane. I think at that point
> everyone started to believe that it was an attack. I had a cigarette and
> just looked at people. My emotional state was weird at that time. This
> disbelief, this surrealism, this rain of burning debris, unnatural
> artificial clouds looming about. I decided that I needed to see it
> closer, I walked towards battery park. I saw people lining up behind pay
> phones. I saw ambulances, police cars, fire-engines screaming through
> the streets, people jumping on sidewalks trying to get out of their way.
> I made it to an opening where I could look up. just smoke, behind a
> large building. Another block, turned my head, and saw a scene that was
> unlike any other I have ever seen and will ever see again. The 2 tallest
> buildings I have ever seen burning, holes in them. Debris falling from
> them. People in disbelief, recounting their experiences. Talking of how
> they saw these planes hit. Describing the 2nd plane that hit. A big
> plane that hit and went out in flames. It disappeared in flames
> engulfing the building. I stood there looking up. I wanted to get a
> disposable camera but that did not feel right. At that time, I saw
> something fall, someone said it was a body. I said nothing. I was
> stateless, mouth open in disbelief. Headed back to the office and went
> upstairs, to see what others were feeling, what they were saying.
> Everyone was on the phone with their families. I called mine. Had a hard
> time explaining what just happened to my mom. She didnâ™t comprehend it.
> itâ™s like watching a movie and you think, ow, this is fake. Thatâ™s
> probably the sense she got. At that time, when I was talking to her, I
> heard another explosion.
> Three
> I told my mom "yo, I gotta go" hung up and ran towards the stair case.
> We all did. We ran down, through the doors and out into the street.
> Looking to the left I saw a wall of white dust come around the corner of
> Wall St. & Broad St. I thought it was a chemical attack. I stopped
> breathing and started running down beaver st. another wall of dust came
> around that corner and I then ran down broad st. I had no clue where I
> was going, where everyone else was. I just ran. Is this chemical? is
> this a building near by that just got bombed. Some guy screamed that
> they bombed the stock exchange. I was thinking that the attacks are
> getting closer to where I am and just started running. There was a mob,
> moving in all directions, mostly away from the approaching wall of dust.
> Some were running into it. some were not moving. Some were going into
> buildings. Panic. The water, thatâ™s where I have to head, there are no
> structures there, there is nothing they can bomb there. Cross the
> bridge, go to brooklyn, itsâ™ safe, itâ™s home. At the water, there were
> mobs, moving downtown. Where the fuck were they going, thereâ™s nothing
> there. No bridges, no escape routes from manhattan. Go up to the bridge.
> But they were moving down for a reason. The cloud of smoke was coming
> downtown. You could not see 20 feet from you. You could not see the
> buildings across the street. The brooklyn bridge was hidden, the world
> was gone, was the end coming? Would this smoke cause us to go blind?
> Would we end up reinacting the book blindness? It got dark, It got
> white. I took my shirt off and put that around my face to stop the dust
> from entering my lungs. I got a fruit juice from the street vendor and
> rinsed my mouth. I wet the shirt, put it over my mouth and just ran into
> the dust. People were running in the opposite direction and I was
> screaming "HEAD TO BROOKLYN, head to brooklyn". Some turned and
> followed, others ran downtown.
> Final
> I made it to the bridge and out of the dust. I was covered at this
> point. Eyes burining, I wanted a cigarette. Fuck. I thoughth. Fuck.
> Nothing elese running through my head. All these people, none of which I
> know. None of which they know. In the middle of the bridge, I heard a
> thud. I turned. We all did. The 2nd tower fell. I saw it fall. Slow and
> meticilious, growing as it fell, outwords, shifting itâ™s solidularity
> into a gas like state. It was soon gone, and all of lower manhattan was
> a cloud. Engulfed.
> People on the bridge were stunned. "you bastards better have my money"
> some guy was sayin. Man, what the fuck, fuck ur money. You â˜re not
> there, you know??? Besides him, everyone else was in disbelief. Crying,
> defeated, standing looking. Surreal. No cars on the bridge. On all
> lanes. Just dusty people, quiet. Everyone turned around and started
> walking, running, the bridge was next they screamed.
> Made it home, on the walk there I had to pass the dust again. I got a
> dust mask, put my glasses on and walked. I stopped to get some status
> from the cops. They knew nothing. At home, I saw a sheet of paper on the
> stoop. It was a page from a map book. It was a map of Wisconsin. The
> edges are burnt. I was so close.
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