Maine Writer

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

What Were You Doing on September 11th 2001?

My daughter-in-law Cheryl Grabowski L'Heureux posted this living September 11th memory on facebook. I've cut and pasted the story into this blog because her experience is a compelling and living reminder of the horror Americans witnessed on September 11, 2001 when thousands of innocent people were murdered by an act of terrorism.

On 9/11/2001 I was on a train on my way into NYC. I was going to the WTC to meet up with a few employees...Nichole Gonzales was one of them. We were going to look at the site where my company was building a new store in the mall (not sure if ya'll know, but there was a really nice mall in the bottom of WTC.

That morning, I lingered in bed, not really wanting to get up. I was now running late and needed to leave. Roger dropped me off at the train station and kissed me goodbye. The train ride into NYC is always quite, business men and women going to work.

At 8:48 am my cell phone rang. My store manager of my South Street Seaport store, who lives in Battery Park, called and screamed "a plane just hit the WTC!" I repeated back to her, "a plane hit the WTC?". Sounding alarmed others looked up over at me and started asking "what happened?" I said "a plane just hit WTC".

I hung up with her and immeditaly called Roger. He had not heard about it yet and he turned on the radio. While we were talking he screamed "another plane just hit the other tower". I yelled out on the train "another plane just hit the other tower".

At this point, every single person is on their cell phone with family, work, friends, trying to find out what was going on. Roger said "get off the train at the next stop and I'll come get you". I got off the train and waited for Roger. I called my Mom, crying, and getting her anwering machine. I told her I was OK and did not make it into NYC that day. I called my Father,Grandmother, and friends as well.

Roger picked me up and as we were driving on the NJ Turnpike we saw a huge plume of smoke. We looked at eachother, horrifed, and said OMG, the towers just fell. I was numb at this point. I could not believe what was happening. It felt so surreal, it was unimaginable that this was happening here, in the USA.

At home, I could not take my eyes off of the tv set. I needed to know why this happened.

Fate has a funny way of showing herself...if I would have gone to work earlier, I would have wanted to meet with the mall marketing manager before the mall became busy. This means I would have been on a higher floor, not sure which, and would have experienced the tragic nightmare firsthand.

For all of those who lost someone on 9/11, I pray for you and for them. For those who have loved ones fighting for our country, I pray for them and their families.

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