I was in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, watching the whole horrible thing. My Wife, Anik, was on an express bus that was about a mile from the battery tunnel when the first plane hit and was diverted into downtown Brooklyn.
I was living on the Upper East Side, planning to go to graduate school classes that day. I was awoken by a call from a friend out west who wanted to know if I was OK. So, I was asleep when the planes hit. I did watch them fall on TV and later witnessed the hordes of people walking up 2nd avenue from downtown and midtown to their homes. My husband (before we were married) was in midtown, just walked off a subway, saw the towers on fire, turned around and walked to the ferry terminal, catching one to Jersey shore along side dozens of ash covered commuters.
Driving on the Palisades Pkwy to work in NJ when the first tower was hit - was listening to CDs so did not know anything until I got into the office. In the office watching on TV when the second plane hit. Called my sister who worked in the city on 15th street around Union Square, telling her to leave NOW - took her most the day to get home to NJ. I had just moved to Beacon in August, and was very happy NOT to have to drive over the GWB - horrible, horrible day. Came home to Beacon, nervously driving over the Bear Mountain Bridge, watched TV and cried a lot - I used to work in that area, took the subway into WTC every day. Thankfully I did not lose anyone directly, but knew plenty of people who did.
I was at work when we saw something happen on TV, we then became mesmerized to the TV and then thought of our family and friends who are in NYC. Co-worker's husband and her in laws were in city and she couldn't get a hold of them. My brother works all over NYC so I left message at his home. His wife didn't hear anything but knew something was wrong when there were numerous messages asking if Paul was ok. He was fine but saw the planes hit the buildings. His friend and co-worker watched people jump from the buildings. I left work and went to Forrestal to check on my youngest. I ended up staying there the rest of the day, working the front door on the lock down. It is a day I will never forget. Realized that those planes just about went over our heads as they headed for NYC.
We lived just across the bridge in Brooklyn. We had just found out I was pregnant with our third. I took the day off from work due to nausea. I came in from taking the older boys to school and starting receiving calls from out of town friends that wondered if we were okay. My brother called me and we watched the 2nd plane hit. He screamed at me through the phone that we were under attack and to go get the boys from school immediately. I remember running to both of their schools with such fear and anxiety. I was already feeling sick, but now I was just physically ill. We all made it home safe, but lived with smoke, ash and soot for 3 days. The smell is something I've never smelled and hope to never smell again. We lost our baseball coach and good friend, Kevin F. Conroy. The next few weeks are a blur to me, full of tears, anger, denial and just shock.
I was one mile away from Ground Zero at work, and I had a clear view of one of the towers (the second one to get hit) from my boss's office window. We thought, at that point, that it was an accident, so a bunch of us were in his office watching the smoke rise in the sky. All of a sudden, the second plane hit and we knew at that point that it couldn't be an accident. I got my purse and ran to the subway right outside the building. I lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and luckily for me, I was on one of the last trains to make it out of Manhattan before they shut down the subways. When I got off the subway in Brooklyn (Lorimer stop), people were just standing around looking at the skyline of Manhattan and thats when I was told that one of the towers had just fallen. By the time I got to my apartment, the second tower had fallen. This was the single worse day of my life and I still have a hard time getting through it 8 years later.