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By LMBoroLMPark(2,097)

LMB resident John was working in one of the twin towers in New York City the morning of September 11, 2001. During the next few days his story will be posted in the LMBoroLMPark Newsletter. Below is Part 3. Click on LMB RESIDENT SHARES HIS SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 EXPERIENCE Part 1 to read Part 1 and  LMB RESIDENT SHARES HIS SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 EXPERIENCE Part 2  to read Part 2.

To view photos click on www.flickr.com/photos/lmborolmpark and www.flickr.com/photos/beaneryonlineliterarymagazine

The people who were ten stories up when the South Tower was hit by the airplane felt the stairway shift and felt their bodies do a slow pitch forward and then a slow pitch back.
John recalls “my knees were buckling, and I remember it was first time I was scared. It is the one time of a blank spot.” From his position against the wall he remembers the Port Authority directing people back through the concourse, headed north.
He looked down hall at the glass doors that opened to Liberty Street.
“I was headed out those doors,” John said. He recalls a split second image he still envisions: “big chunks of building on fire landing on sidewalk. In the image of the door I saw no people.” He wonders if there were more out there than falling chunks of building.
“Had it not been for the phone call I would have been out there far enough not to get back in.” He would have been where he might easily get hit by flaming debris falling from the building.
He then blanked out on the scene, losing all memory from the time of the image until he exited the South Tower, a time lasting for about two minutes. He doesn’t recall if people were panicked. “I don’t remember people being around me during that two minute period while still in building.”
He explains that people were directed to go up the escalator to Building Five, where he would exit. It was on the northeast corner of complex and lead onto Church Street.
Once on Church Street “I remember the policewoman and being told keep going, don’t look back. As I went up a block to Broadway, I remember seeing one guy in particular, a guy in suit, laying in street with his arms stretched out and a briefcase nearby. Blood was coming out of his head. He must have been standing there looking up at the North Tower (and hit by debris).” John thinks one of the plane engines was found about a block up the street.
John turned off Church Street onto a short street that would take him to Broadway.
“The first time I stopped to look back at it, looking up I saw the impact of the big hole where the plane hit the North Building,” he said. “There was black smoke going up building. I don’t recall seeing people jumping, but I remember standing there and thinking ‘How on earth are they going to begin dealing with that?’ I was wondering if the buildings were going to stay up. It was huge. The TV images give you the idea but being there was bad.
“It also occurred to me that this is more likely war, and rightly so.” 427
John’s car was on the other side of the complex, but it didn’t matter. He’d already heard tunnels were shut down and determined “I wouldn’t get out of Manhattan.” He started walking uptown where he knew people and would find a place if he needed a place to crash.
“It was a beautiful day. I walked up the east side under the Brookline Bridge and kept going north.”
John was probably on 42nd Street when the North Tower fell. He tried to stay away from Grand Central Station. The streets were packed with people trying to get home---he’d never saw it before like that at midtown.
“I stopped in a bar/restaurant on N. 70th St. to make some phone calls. I’d walked a good five miles in impractical shoes.”
He was somewhere in the east village when the South Tower fell.
“I didn’t see either of the buildings fall,” he said. “I was a good mile away. What I heard, the only thing I heard, was a lot of people screaming---perhaps people who could see---plus lots of noise, sirens. If I’d thought it would happen I would have listened, being a sound man.”
He had wondered about the plane hitting the building on this beautiful clear day. For someone to do this accidentally, it could be a pilot having a heart attack and losing control. “I thought maybe a private jet, I think everyone was hoping it was an accident, but the suspicions were pretty high that it was terrorism,” he said. “I don’t think anyone was expecting a second plane though. It was quite a surprise.”
He saw the tragedy for the first time on the news when he walked into a Spanish store to purchase a drink.
“Morgan Stanley lost only 12 of its 3500 employees,” John said. The only fatality he knew, only from visiting Morgan Stanley, was the security guard on 44th floor, who had apparently stayed behind. “I have his name written down so I won’t forget it.”
He thought of other attacks. A lot of the people in the Towers would have been there when the North Tower was hit in 1993.

John believes if he’d been on the 44th floor when the plane hit the South Tower he still would have made it out successfully.

Return to the LMBoroLMPark Newsletter Thursday for the fourth part of John’s 911 story.

This Blog Post has been read 24 times.
Posted to ProBlogs.com on Monday, January 01, 2007
View other posts by LMBoroLMPark

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