Sunday, September 11, 2011


Cargo Cafe, Staten Island on September 13, 2001

10 years ago today I was living in NYC with Milt.  We were both pretty excited on that morning because it marked the start of our last work week.  That Friday we were flying to Germany and we were going to marry a week later.

I had to leave for work a little early because of an early meeting.  When I got to the office I  went straight to our large conference room.  About 30 minutes in to the meeting I noticed there was a man on the roof of the building across the street with his eyes fixed south.  I remember thinking how odd it was.  Never could I have imagined what he was looking at.

A few minutes later a co-worker popped her head in the room and told us what was going on.  I went down to my floor and started to frantically call Milt.  He worked only two blocks from the World Trade Center.  I couldn't get through and I checked my messages.  He had left me a message as he came out of the subway saying that there was smoke and fire spewing from the World Trade and people appeared to be  falling out.  He was heading for his office.

Everyone on our floor gathered around the TV and watched the events unfurl with the rest of the world.  When the first tower fell I ran to the phone again to reach Milt.  I remember shaking so bad that I couldn't get the numbers right,  a co-worker dialed for me.  I was so happy to get through and hear his voice.  We spoke briefly and agreed that he would walk up to get me (about 40 blocks) and that we would try to make it home together.  I don't remember what time he finally got to my office.  I just remember him standing at my cubicle all of a sudden. It was such a relief.

We didn't linger long and started our walk back downtown.  At the time we lived in Staten Island and took the Ferry from the very bottom tip of Manhattan to get home.  The further we got down the emptier the streets became.  There was no traffic.  By the time we got to the vicinity of the financial district Manhattan was a ghost town.  There was ash and paper every where and cars standing doors ajar in the middle of the street.  The burnt smell in the air was strong.  We made it down to the ferry terminal and were relieved that they were still running.  The sight from the harbor was unfathomable.  Smoke where just that morning the two towers stood proudly.  We had seen them come down on TV, but it didn't seem real until that moment.

The memories of that day and the months that followed will linger forever in my mind.  Months of unease, fear, grief and yet I was fortunate.

We were fortunate.  Our story continued and a mere ten days later Milt and I were married in Germany. For nearly 3,000 people the story ended.  In the memories of their loved ones and friends they will never be forgotten.


  1. Monica, I had no idea that you witnessed the horror of that day, how frightened you must have been. Thankfully you and your sweetie, Milt were able to get out and continue on with your happy life! xo

  2. What a "story" Monica. I can't imagine what it was like to actually be there and see it all in person. So glad you were both safe, and together. Thanks for sharing this with us...

  3. Thank you for sharing this with us. So glad you both were safe. SO many stories from that day.

  4. Thank you for sharing your story...I take comfort in knowing the survivors continue to feel and receive our loving support 10 years later.

  5. Deine Geschichte hat mich mitgenommen. Ich weiß noch genau, was ich an diesem Tag gemacht habe. Einen Tag, den ich so schnell nicht vergessen werde. Gott sei Dank seid ihr beiden da heil rausgekommen... Lieben Gruß

  6. That was such an intense day. Thanks for sharing your story. I had lived in the East Village the year before and remember going to the top of the WTC when my sister visited me. I think the shock of watching people jump from those heights, live on TV, will never leave me. So many lost so much, yet it has also been encouraging to witness so many phoenix rise from the ashes.

  7. A beautifully-written story about a truly horrific day.


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