It was early and I was just getting settled into my desk, when my telephone rang. It was the associate warden’s secretary stating, “Mrs. Carter, a plane just hit the World Trade Center. All staff are to report to an emergency recall in the west building.” I snapped back in response, “that is not cute. Why would you say something like that?” Thank God, she was patient and responded that it was not a joke, and calmly instructed me to please inform the rest of the department of the recall.
This could not be happening, it felt like déjà vu.
As we walked outside our Park Slope building, there was debris falling from the sky. I subconsciously placed myself between the two men I worked with as we started our walk from the east building. I looked toward the WTC, saw smoke across the Hudson River, and grabbed one of the sheets of debris. It was a fax cover letter dated that morning from the AON Corporation which was located within the WTC. As I began to cry, I prayed for the safety of the man whose name was on the cover sheet and all those who walked in the WTC as part of their normal routine that morning.
It was the beginning of a very long day…. (to be continued)