September 11th 2001 – a day all of us who were in the US that time will never forget.
We were in Long Island, New York,US which is 45 miles east of New York City. My son was hardly a month old and I was busy learning to be a new mother to a newborn baby. We were busy trying to decipher him along with my parents!! 🙂 (who had come to visit us in the US)
It was close to 9 a.m. in the morning and my dad was watching television and there were disturbing scenes on the television. We didn’t understand what it was first and neither did anybody or any of the news channels in the US. It was about some commotion in New York City which was only an hour’s drive away from us. Initially, we thought a building was burning down and turned to do our chores.
Only after a while did we we realize it was one of the Twin Towers which was burning. We had visited the Twin Towers just a year back and could recognize the place immediately. The news channels were also flashing the news that the Twin Towers had caught fire.
Before, I write any further, I have to write about the Twin Towers.
The Twin Towers were New York City’s pride. The Twin Towers of New York city were part of seven buildings of the World Trade Center and they were located in the Financial district of Lower Manhattan. Each tower had 110 floors and they were the tallest buildings in their time. More than 430 companies were housed there and as many 50,000 people went to work there everyday. Still many more came to visit. The Twin Towers were subjected to many attacks during their lifetime and many of them had failed(till then)
As we sat there watching the burning, we thought that the fire engines will be called and the fire will be put out sooner or later.
Just half an hour later, even as the first tower was burning, we were horrified to see an airliner go straight into the second tower of the World Trade Center with amazing accuracy and precision!! It dawned loud and clear that this was no normal burning and nor was it a fire without serious reasons. Now both the Towers were ablaze and everything was being tried to rescue those who were trapped.
The fires in the two Towers were raging and we still thought that the fires would be put out soon. There was widespread confusion in New York City and ambulances and medical/state and federal workers were racing to help anyone and everyone.
There were many who were jumping off the floors of the towers in panic and despair! 😦
After an hour of burning, at around 10:00 a.m., and with all television channels glued on it, we were shocked to see Tower 1 collapse completely and be reduced to total dust and rubble in a matter of minutes. After seeing tower 1 collapse, we knew and dreaded what was coming up next.
And at around 10:30 a.m., the inevitable happened and Tower 2 collapsed too…again in a matter of minutes!!
The Twin Towers collapse generated a lot of toxic dust and confusion for all who came to work/lived in New York City and New Jersey. It was then, that we knew life had changed for all and it would never be the same again.
According to Wikipedia:
- The people caught above the 80th floor of Tower 1 and 60th floor of Tower 2 were killed instantly or were caught without any rescue being possible
- at least 200 people jumped to their deaths mostly from the higher floors
- helicopter rescue mission was not possible since no plan existed for the same
- 2996 people lost their lives
- more than 6000 people were injured
- more than 90 countries lost their citizens in the Twin Towers collapse
- Cantor Fitzgerald L.P., an investment bank on the 101st–105th floors of the North Tower, lost 658 employees more than any other organization
- New York City lost many brave fire fighters and police officers
- Many other buildings around the Twin Towers were also damaged
- Almost 18,000 people are supposed to have suffered from the toxic dust that was generated
- The last fires from September 11,2001 were extinguished finally by December 2001
New York City has clawed its way back and that is supposed to be New York’s fighting spirit. It is 19 years since the man made tragedy happened, but it still lingers in my heart hoping such man made disasters never happen again…