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Historical Event

Life Story Club Contributor

June 12, 2020

I guess I was thinking about that too, September 11. I’m a retiree now, but I was working in the Brooklyn municipal building as an assessor. I was at my desk and there’s this person that always played the radio in the morning and listened to the news, and he all of a sudden turned around and looked at us, and said, “The Twin Towers are burning!” I thought he was joking, you know, because this guy is a jokester, he comes up with the weirdest things half the time. So I kind of went back to what I was doing because I couldn’t believe it. And a minute later, he said, “No, no, the towers are burning!” And I still couldn’t grasp it, and then about a minute passed and we were told to leave the building.

I worked in the municipal building in Brooklyn, and we all went out, didn’t know what to do, what was going on. I think people thought that maybe something, maybe a bomb would be in our building. And I distinctly remember standing with my co-workers and looking up in the sky and seeing all these ashes coming down and the sky was completely gray. It was the most weird and eerie feeling I ever had. And at this time we really didn’t know about the terrorists you know, going into the into the buildings. All we knew was that one of the buildings came down, so we were told not to go back into the buildings and try to get home. Now I didn’t have a car and all the subways, for some reason, were not allowing people to go in, and the Brooklyn Bridge was blocked, and I had nowhere to go.

I was with a co-worker, you know our cell phones weren’t working at the time, so we went to the phone booths. At that time, they weren’t all working…There were lines of people trying to contact their loved ones. I just said, I guess I have nothing else to do, I’ll just have to wait in line. It seemed like hours. I finally tried to call my husband, but nobody was answering. I tried to call my son’s school. It was his first week in kindergarten and I didn’t get an answer. Then, because I was in Brooklyn, my sister-in-law lived a few blocks, a half a mile from the municipal building. So I called her, she wasn’t answering the phone. So I left a message saying I’m in Brooklyn. I’m going to be going to your house, there’s no way for me to get home. I don’t know what’s going on with the family.

And that’s what I did. So I did walk over to my brother’s house. I didn’t know where he was at the time, but she was babysitting for a bunch of her clients and she left a note on the door saying that I’m not home I’m at a client’s house. You can reach me there. So that’s what I did. I walked a couple of blocks, rang the doorbell like she told me to. And we both sat watching what was going on on TV.

And it was just unbelievable. I have to say that while I was walking to her apartment building, at that time they were working telephones so public telephones, so like every time I saw a telephone booth that wasn’t crowded, I would call. I would call my son’s school, I would call my husband, and I would call my sister-in-law. And so I must’ve approached like five or six telephone booths. Anyway, you know, I just didn’t know what was going on and I spent the remaining evening at my brother’s house.

When he came home, he told me a story. He saw the buildings fall. He was on Williamsburg, and he was like on this hill, and he was a messenger at the time, and he just got off his bike and just saw the buildings just completely right in front of him come down. It was the most devastating experience for him and he was crying through the whole thing. I stayed over his house and the next morning I walked over to my building, and there was the police cordoning the whole building off, and they told us to go home. And that time I was able to get on the subway and go home.

My husband, that morning he took my son to school. That was his first week of kindergarten. Then my husband, because of that…he worked across the street from the World Trade Center, he got there late. In fact, that we actually made it… Because he was told to get off the train, and he got off the train, didn’t know what was going on. And where he was, he was like around Canal Street I think, and he also saw smoke and saw the buildings come down. And he walked all the way home to us, 88th street from where he was, and he picked up my son. The schools really didn’t tell the kids too much. They were, I guess, told not to frighten them, so my son had no idea what was going on until my husband took him home.

June 12, 2020 I guess I was thinking about that too, September 11. I'm a retiree now, but I was working in the Brooklyn municipal building as an assessor. I was at my desk and there's t...

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