There's Another Plane!

On September 11th 2001 I was living in the Envoy building on 16th street. I worked for Verizon Telecom in Tysons Corner and drove to work that morning as usual. While working at my desk was was quietly listening to Howard Stern.

announced that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. This caught my attention because my best friend at the time and just moved into a new apartment building adjacent to the Twin Towers. As did everyone else, I assumed it was an accident involving a small plane. Still, I stood up in my cube and relayed the plane crash story to my team. When I sat down I decided to call my friend because I knew he was home unpacking boxes. answered immediately and before I could say anything he began screaming into the phone. I couldn't understand what he was saying because he was crying and talking very fast. I asked about the small plane and he screamed that it wasn't a small plane. It was a passenger plane and that people were jumping and falling out of the building. was on the roof of his building and would scream every time someone fell. It felt as if all the blood in my body drained out of me. I was crying with him and my co-workers stood up in their cubes to see what I was reacting to. I was relaying everything he was saying and the people around me were in complete shock. then screamed into the phone, "OH MY GOD THERE'S ANOTHER PLANE!!!" and the call disconnected. My boss found a television in a meeting room and turned on the news. We watched in horror the images from New York City. I was able to connect again with my friend and he kept saying, "What do I do???" "What do I do??" and I yelled, "RUN!" the phone disconnected again. As I was trying to reconnect with myfriend my boss yelled that a plane had hit the Pentagon. We were all in shock and people starting saying that we're under attack, we're at war, and the fear really kicked in.

When I reconnected with my friend he was standing in a park, surrounded by strangers, watching the towers burn. The people around him could not dial out. The circuits were busy and they couldn't call their loved ones to let them know they were alright. He passed his phone around and people gave me their names and gave me the phone numbers they wanted to call. I made a list and started calling their loved ones from Virginia. My boss yelled that the office was closed and for everyone to go home. I was the only person in my office who lived in downtown DC. I got in my car and headed towards home. I was one of the only civilian cars heading into the District. I stayed far to the right as first responders raced by me heading towards the Pentagon. As I approached the Arlington Memorial Bridge traffic inbound started to back up. I looked over and witnessed thick clouds of smoke pouring from the building and I remember my whole body trembling as I slowly crossed the bridge. On the radio they were announcing that another plane had been hijacked and was heading towards DC. It was literally like a scene in a horror movie. People were pouring out of their offices.

Everywhere I looked people in their professional attire were running in every direction trying to get out of the city and home to their loved ones. I parked my car and ran down 16th streets towards my partner's condo. I remember passing construction workers who asked what was happening and I yelled that another plane was heading towards DC. I made it to his building and he wasn't home yet. I turned on the TV and learned about Flight 93. The rest of the day and into the night we are glued to the television. At one point I just went into the bedroom, closed the door, crawled into a ball, and sobbed. Those memories are as fresh today as they were 20 years ago.

Story Campaign: 
Stories of September 11