September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document
Story:I was working for The Bank of New York at 101 Barclay Street, which is across the street from 7 World Trade Center. I arrived by subway into Park Place station which is the stop before the Trade Center, only to be detoured by police to evacuate immediately onto the street. What I saw in front of my eyes is etched into my memory...An airplane engine right in front of the entrance to 100 Church Street where I part of my staff work. Eyeglasses, briefcases, shoes, bloody injured people, and then I looked up to see my fiance's building in flames. He worked for Cantor Fitzgerald on the 101st floor of Tower 1. I frantically tried to call him on his office phone, cell phone, and pager, but had no response. I saw the smoke and flames pouring out the windows and prayed that he had found the emergency stairs to evacuate. Then I saw the people start to jump out the windows, some holding hands, some on fire....I was in total shock and disbelief when someone told me planes had hit the Trade Center. It was so surreal. David's 46 birthday was the night before, and we had just celebrated with dinner at Gramercy Tavern. We had just had a family celebration for Brunch 2 days earlier where pictures were taken...the last pictures of him. I was ushered by some of my staff back into the Bank for safety from falling debris, when I had frantic calls from his family..."had I heard from David Agnes"...he took the early train to work that morning, as he had a dentist appointment and had to leave a bit early. As I hung up the phones, and checked my email to see if he was able to get a message to me, we heard this tremendous roaring sound and a cloud of smoke with a feeling of an earthquake shaking the building. 101 Barclay is a 24 story total glass facade building...we dove underneath our desks to hide from the breaking glass. After that, the Bank evacuated and as I was on the 8th floor, by the time I reached the street, Tower 1 began to fall....Co-workers grabbed my hand to pull me away, as they were afraid the debris would hit us running down Greenwich Street. I didn't want to leave. My love was in a burning building and there was nothing I could do to save him....I ran...After running several blocks, the Police told us to run eastward, as they believed a truck with a bomb was parked at the corner of Canal Street.....we ran again, then more police heard over their walkie talkies, that someone was throwing grenades off a truck...run north....(It was not true, but no one knew the truth that day). No one wanted to believe that such evil could occur in our own backyard. We finally stopped running and I was the last person to cross the Brooklyn Bridge that morning by foot. I only wanted to get home to my family and my son...My son friends lost 4 fathers in his senior class in Manhasset High School that day. Over 7 children in one elementary class lost parents...That night when I was able to finally get home, I was surrounded by family and friends, and called by Cantor Fitzgerald to find out if David came home...no he didn't make it out alive. Yet, the next morning, I went to the dentist to get copies of his x-rays, and go to St, Vincent's hospital to wait for word of the injured. Hoping and praying that they would find him...They finally identified his body parts in early August 2002, as they actually found his body on the other side of the building from where he worked. His body was not burned, and knowing him, they went up as high as they could away from the flames. He was a leader and I know he was helping to guide everyone, and calm them for their fateful last moments. He had a zest for life and loved to travel with me...our new life together was cut short, before we were able to be married. I have him in my heart always, as he is in my thoughts everyday of my life.
Memory:Watching the people jump from the floors where Cantor staff worked, and finding body parts all around, while knowing that my fiance could not escape. For me, my strongest nightmare that still occurs, is me running for my life as his building was collapsing, and feeling this overwhelming feeling that he was pushing me to safety, when I felt I couldn't run anymore. Panic at every corner when even the police didn't know which way you should run....disbelief in the eyes of everyone who ran...and the question why?
Affects:I am very aware of security measures around me at all times, exits, and I get jittery in crowds. I noticed the days before the Trade Center was hit, increased security with FBI and dogs at the entrance way for the trucks, and actually commented to my fiance, that someone important must be in town attending a function in the Towers...I truly believe that they were aware of an increased threat, but never realized it would come from the air, and not the ground. I have a deep appreciation for our military personnel, and staff in the Bank who are on leave for military duty. Our area not runs a Toy's For Tots program with the Marines, to help support children at the holidays. I also find that I'm giving more to charity. I still travel, but much less than I did before. My son now works for JetBlue, and is a sophmore at George Washington University in Washington DC. It's 2 blocks from the White House, but he felt compelled to help make a difference politically and socially by helping to increase airline effectiveness, security and quash fears of people still avoiding flying. I think students or people in the late teens early 20's have no fear and live their lives as if nothing has happened...They tend to get on with their lives much easier than the older generation who remember Pearl Harbor, or who had children in the Trade Center that day....I still hate traveling into NYC everyday to work, but that's what I must do to live. My fear never leaves me, and when the terror alerts go up, I'm in panic mode.