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Richard WajdaWas on his way to work in the World Financial Center
There are no words for today’s events. But God was with me.
I was late getting up this morning, and I was late getting my friend’s baby to work.
If I had been on time I would have been killed. I normally get the baby by 7am, but with traffic I got him at 7:30. I got him to the baby sitter by 8am. I got on the train and arrived at the World Trade Center at 8:30.
Today I was feeling in the walking mood and decided to walk outside. I am located in World Financial Center 1. To get to me you need to be on the 2nd floor of the twin towers to get on the internal bridge. But today I decided I would walk via the street.
About two minutes after I got out to the street I heard a loud explosion. I looked up and saw flames coming from the Twin Towers. I immediately thought it was a bomb. Debris was falling everywhere as if it were the ticket tape parade for the Yankees. Suddenly I was hit in the head. I do not think it was a piece of the plane, I thought it might be office supplies because paper was floating down. But what ever hit me hurt me. I just turned around and ran across the street.
I then called my office and Barbara, in my section, told me it was a plane and that there was an announcement to stay inside. Well I was hysterical. As I was on the phone looking at the building I saw a body fall from the building. Tears were running down my face. I told Barbara I was going home.
I then called my mother and she said to get out of there and run. With that I did, I got to Broadway and looked back. I still could not believe the sight.
'Someone helped me up'
Seconds later the second plane hit the second tower and exploded. I did not see the second plane because I was on the opposite side of the building. All I saw was the burst of flames. Well, everyone was running as if Godzilla was chasing us.
I was knocked over and then someone else ran right over me. Fortunately someone helped me up. I was so scared to look back because I thought the building was going to fall on me. I ran and ran all the way to the FDR Drive which is on the east side near the South Street Seaport.
I looked back then, and the smoke was following us. I kept on running, this time I was running along the riverside uptown to get far from the fire as possible. I was running with several strangers. A few of us then stopped in a nearby park to rest. It was far from the towers, but we were still able to see them, when then the first one fell.
The sound sent chills up my spine. I told the people to run, so we continued. At this point it was now 10:30 and I spoke to my mother again and was informed of the attacks in Washington, now I was even more scared.
We were so closed to the United Nations, we were all in fear. Then the second tower fell.
I called my friend, whose baby I had dropped-off at the sitter, and told her what happened. She was able to see the destruction from Queens. I told her I was going to get the baby.
'People were running and crying'
I was scared because the baby sitter was near La Guardia airport and I needed to get him because of threats to blow up the airports. So I continued on heading uptown. People were running and crying everywhere.
I was OK and kept on going. I then made it to the 59th street bridge to walk across to Queens. I ran across with thousands more. The fear of the bridge being hit was scary. I finally made it to the baby sitter six hours later.
Now I am finally home and I am still in shock and in pain, I can barely walk. I have been listening and reading all of my phone messages. I cannot believe I got so many.
With all of my happy calls, I have heard some sad ones. A friend of mine was at work on Long Island. A woman that works with him got a call from her husband who worked on the top floor of one of the Twin Towers. He called to say good-bye. He knew he was not going to get out. The woman lost it.
I made it home safe. I was hit with debris, I fell and was trampled. My legs are cut up, and my back is in severe pain, and my feet are ripped up. But I am home and safe.