The following is my memory
of the tragic day
of sept 11th
. Feel free to share your thoughts, if you knew anybody who had worked in the twin towers.
I was waking up to go to work, when suddenly, a phone rings, and it's my mother, crying on the phone that the World Trade Center is on fire. I turned on the television and saw the building burning, and at first, i thought that it was just a fire on one of the floors, but then they showed a closer view of the building and i knew that the damage was pretty big. My father worked on the 71st floor, but I couldn't remember which of the two buildings he worked at, even though I have been to his job a number of times, so when the second plane hit, I didn't know at that point whether he was dead or alive. It was an excruciating hour for me. I felt angry and scared at the same time. Scared for the sake of my father's life, as well as other family members who work in Manhattan. Not only did I worry about my family, I was also thinking what would happen to me and if my Army Reserve unit was being deployed. Later , I found out, that I actually came real close to being deployed to Afghanistan. Perhaps the most chilling moment for me was when the first building fell. At that moment, I just froze, I didn't know what to think, or do, but I still had hope that my family was okay. Moments later, before the north tower fell, my father finally called me, from a payphone, which he was lucky to get a hold of, and the first words he said were "I’m still alive". He said he's running down Church avenue, and I told him to just keep running, keep running away from the building, because it's gonna fall any minute. Later after that, I contacted other family members and told him that he was okay. About half hour after the second building collapsed, he called me again to assure me that he was okay and then , I contacted the rest of my family again. Later that evening, my father, my mother , and my aunt met uptown, and when the downtown subways went in service again, they went home. For some reason, I remember that it was sunset, when my father along with the rest of my family arrived at the porch, where I was waiting for them. He was covered in white ashes, with a bruise on his elbow, and his face had the kind of frightening expression that you never want to see on your father. It was terrifying to see him like that, but I was just overwhelmingly glad that he was okay.
Six months later, my father had received the Medal Of Valor for his actions. He told us how he helped a co-worker evacuate the building with him because when the first plane hit, she went into such a panic that she just laid on the floor, crying, and he had to convince her that they had to run, but what I didn’t know until he received the medal in a prestigious ceremony, (with the presence of former mayor, Rudy Giuliani and governor George Pataki) , was that the co-worker, was limping and had a lot of trouble running downstairs and that my father literally carried the woman all the way downstairs from 71st floor. When I read that in the medal nomination letter, I began to see a side of my father that I’ve never seen before. It was a side of not only his heroism, but of respect and integrity. I started to believe that G-d was with him on the sad morning of September 11th and that it wasn’t his time to go. I believe that G-d is with us all…all that survived and all that perished. He watches over us, as we fight for our freedom and for the struggle of freedom and justice of others. On this memorial, I urge you to spend time with your families and thank him for all you have. G-d bless you all, and G-d bless America.