September 11th, 2021 marked 20 years since the horrific attacks on 9/11. Heartbreaking phone calls were made from individuals on hijacked planes to loved ones. Employees in the Twin Towers had to decide whether to jump out of their offices, or burn in the flames. Selfless firefighters and police officers risked their lives running into the chaos and rubble.
In honor of 9/11, I am sharing a Q&A panel with my father, who vividly saw the Twin Towers fall with his coworkers.
Image Credit: Pollemix
Please explain what you recall on September 11th:
I was working, and my coworkers drew my attention towards the burning and crumbling Twin Towers. I was in utter shock. The news was playing and it was surreal. I didn’t see the first plane, but I saw the second one go in like a shadow and then an explosion. I immediately exited my building and was in midtown Manhattan, leaving my company's office, heading towards Grand Central Station. I remember a mass of people, soot in the air, and the confusion about where to go.
Use three words to describe New York during the time of attack:
Confused, scared, sorrowful.
Describe the rest of the day:
When I got home, I watched the news trying to figure out what had happened, and the company I worked for was deciding if we would work in the office the next day, which we didn’t.
Describe the aftermath on New York City, and the country as a whole:
In addition to pain and sorrow, anger became prevalent, as well as a desire to make whoever was responsible pay. Instead of the usual hurrying and bustling in the streets of New York, people came together and helped one another out. Unity definitely emerged during this tragic time.
Would you like to commemorate any individual who died that day?
I would like to commemorate a fraternity brother who died that day. He was a very confident person who most likely stayed back rather than exiting the building early and quickly. May he, and others who died that day, rest in peace.