How I Ended Up in NYC on 9/11
Had you told me that one day I would be in New York City, standing two blocks from the World Trade Center as they collapsed, I would have told you that "you're out of your mind!"
Sadly, that's what happened to me on September 11, 2001. It was a Tuesday morning and I was in NYC for some training. I was a financial advisor for JPMorganChase. I was there to learn about the newest investment products that the firm was offering. I was on the 18th floor of a building on 55 Water Street. Someone came into our conference room to say that the "tower had been bombed." You can see it from Paul’s office someone said.
Paul’s office had the perfect view. We saw a big hole inside the north tower. My coworkers and I were confused. "How could a plane mistakenly run into a building like that?", we pondered. I got on the phone to call my family here in El Paso. My family turned on CNN and relaid the information to me over the phone. A commercial airliner had run into the north tower
I began to ask my family if they were any passengers on that plane when suddenly, another plane flew right by us and hit the south tower. Our building was evacuated. As I walked onto the streets of NYC, I looked up to see the towers from street level. I counted 21 floors that had burned. I realized at the point that the towers would probably burn out. Just leaving its steel frame intact.
All public transportation was shut down. It was either walk to the hotel in midtown or stick around a get a closer look. I decided to walk towards the twin towers. I was two blocks away when a police officer whistled all of us to stop and walk back (away from the towers).
I stood there , still in shock at seeing the towers burning to the ground when we heard a terrible noise. A rumbling sound. It sounded like a jet engine as it's getting ready to take off. A lady next me yelled "plane" and we all started running.
After a few seconds, I stopped and looked back. What I saw next will never leave my mind. A HUGE cloud of dust was turning the corner and headed our way. As I turned to run, everything went dark. I couldn't see my hands in front of me. All I could do was stand in the darkness and cover my mouth.
After a few minutes, the dust cloud began to clear. I slowly walked towards a man's voice that kept saying "over here." As I got closer, I realized it was a Crunch Gym (now it's a Planet Fitness.)
Strangers were finding refuge there.
We were all completely covered in dust. I waited until the dust cleared and started walking to my hotel room in midtown. I still think about and pray for everyone who suffered and perished that terrible day.