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I'm sitting in the Alaska Boardroom at SEA as I write this, waiting for a flight Denver. It's the first time I've flown on 9/11 since, well, 9/11. I never made an effort to stay on the ground on this day over the last 5 years, but haven't minded it either.

The lines at the ticket counters aren't too long, but security is backed up. They didn't open all the lines so there are major backups at the check points.

I don't really have a 9/11 story. Sure, I was annoyed wondering why my phone was ringing off the hook before 8:AM that morning; once I saw the news, I was no longer annoyed at the phone. And while I was trying to call into NYC, there was the error message from Verizon, indicating that all lines were busy because of a torndado. I suppose they have only so many busy messages. But I don't have a story.

My mother worked in the WTC area, though, and was one block away when the planes hit. Here is her story:

It was a beautifully clear September day, giving just a hint of fall. I don’t know why I accepted that the first plane crashing into the tower was an accident.

I was in the Easy Spirit store on John Street and Broadway. I heard a loud thump. It sounded to me like a car crash, or something was dropped from a truck. There was a lot of digging and road repair going on at the time. The salespeople in the store didn’t pay much attention either.

Then we saw people running from Broadway. It was like a scene from a Godzilla movie. One of the people opened the door, looked up and saw the tower ablaze. Someone outside said it looked like it was going to blow. They decided to close the store and get out of there. I took my credit card and left.

I walked quickly down John Street, not realizing the full impact. When I heard that a plane had crashed into the tower, I thought at first that it was just a rumor and that if it was true, it was not that serious since a plane had once crashed into the Empire State Building. Around Nassau Street I looked to my right and saw all the papers floating in the air around Maiden Lane. Later, people said it looked like a ticker tape parade.

Around Cliff Street I realized that I had a camera in my bag. I unwrapped it and took a few pictures. Again, I didn’t realize the seriousness of the situation. I went about my business in the usual way.

I stopped in the lobby of my building, got the papers and went up to the office. I dropped my bag at my desk and was about to deliver the papers when I decided to look out the window on the other side of the floor where there was a crowd watching the fire. I got about halfway there when there was another thump (this one shook the building) and Rose said another plane went into the other tower. This was definitely a terrorist attack.

I decided to leave when Dave came around and told everyone to go home. We walked down 21 flights of stairs (I was afraid of a power failure that would stop the elevator). Of course, being New Yorkers, we all milled around outside the building. Some of the ladies had children working in the Trade Center and were understandably upset. Everything worked out well for them, their children ran right to our building. Seema came around that time and told us she had seen the second plane hit.

After a short while I decided to leave to go home. Actually I was afraid that the towers would fall, causing a domino effect, right across the island. I started walking uptown, not wanting to take the subway which might lose power. I thought of going to Cooking by the Book, or Joy’s, but I wanted off the island and thought if I stopped, I might not be able to move.

I guess I was around Chinatown or Little Italy when I turned around and saw people jumping from the first tower. Then a little further I heard a rumbling and just ran. It was there that I found someone’s cell phone which I picked up. After the rumbling, there was quiet, then someone said, “They’re gone”. That’s all.

I was convinced that I had to get home, even if I had to walk all the way. On the way to Grand Central I realized that I had to pass the Empire State Building, the UN. I realized the terrorists were aiming for symbols of NY and our country.

Along the way, people had car radios and store radios turned up so we could hear reports. I heard about the Pentagon and a rumor about the Washington Monument and White House. I hadn’t heard about the crash in Pennsylvania.

On my way up 42nd Street, passing the Hyatt Hotel next to Grand Central, I heard a doorman tell someone he was in the most dangerous place – midtown Manhattan.

Of course, there was a crowd outside Grand Central. I waited there for a while, then saw some F-14’s in the sky. Eventually they started running trains and I got one of the first ones out of the city. This was about 12:30. I got the first or second train out, went as far as White Plains North, then got another train. It was a local, but I didn’t care – I was going home. I got home about 3:30.

I remember seeing a cartoon in one of the papers that says it all. It pictures a woman hailing a taxi. She tells the driver to take her back to September 10. I wish it were possible.

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