I Witness. . . .

9/11/01 was an unusually warm day. I voted early in a mayoral primary, and thought how well the day was going to go. Even when I saw the fire and police trucks near City Hall, I figured a plane had accidentally crashed, like the one that hit the Empire State Building in 1945. When the second plane hit the World Trade Center, I realized the gravity and tragedy.

I was Fire Warden for my agency, and was expected to have the answers, but I had to wait until the Commissioner directed us to evacuate. I was directed NOT to look, but I did see the towers fall. I just kept walking, and returned home in 2 1/2 hours. It took two weeks for us to resume our jobs.

My bosses attempted to reach me to advise me to return to work, but I was having phone difficulties at home--I could make calls "OUT", but could not receive any. They worried that I might have been one of the victims, so they sent an agency chauffeur to my home, to make certain that I was OK. The next day, I returned to work with smiles of relief, but the tragedies remained with me, and still do.

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