Personal

Watching 9/11 from My Office Windows

I was a young mid-level marketing manager working in New York City on 9/11. I remember sitting at my desk the night before going over the information for my first day of graduate school as rain poured against the eaves of our tiny Long Island apartment. Newlywed, living in about 800 square feet, working in Manhattan with an hour and a half commute each day, I was embarking on graduate school at New York University and my first “official” marketing management class was supposed to be on Tuesday, 9/11.

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

I remember what I wore that day: my favorite comfortable black dress slacks, black suede Oxford shoes (the better to walk around Manhattan and thank God I wore them that day), a purple suede jacket, purple t-shirt, my beautiful silver heart locket that my husband had given to me. I slung my briefcase over my shoulder, kissed my sleeping husband good-bye, grabbed a coffee to go, and headed into Manhattan.

The skies over the city that day were so crystal clear blue it was breathtaking. There’s a moment when the LIRR train dips into the tunnel at the East River where you see the entire sprawl of the tip of Manhattan. The Twin Towers gleamed that day. I loved those buildings. I had a poster of them in my room growing up. They were my touchstone. When I traveled on business, as our plane entered New York air space, I’d look for them, and smile when I saw them. They meant I was home.

That day I remember glancing out the window at the silver sparkling city and the gleaming towers and feeling the heft of my new marketing textbook in my briefcase nestled against my lunch and I smiled thinking of how happy I was finally moving ahead in my career.

The rest of the day…well, I have told the story before. How I watched an endless stream of rescue vehicles roll down Columbus Avenue from my office. How I sat huddled with my coworkers in Conference Room A while we watched lower Manhattan under attack on the big screens normally used for Board meetings. And how I walked 40 blocks to Penn Station, caught a train, and sat near a woman covered in debris who couldn’t even tell us her name because she was in such a state of shock.

My memories of 9/11, here: Remembering 9/11

The full story.

Never forget. Never. Over 3,000 people lost their lives that day in a terrorist attack.

Never. Forget.

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