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Old 10 Sep 2011, 22:48
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BirdOPrey5 BirdOPrey5 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2008
Real name: Joe D.
The night before was a bachelor party for one of my good friends from college. Yes, a Monday night bachelor party because his brother was in the Navy and it was the only night he could be there. Even though I grew up in Brooklyn, a mere 10 miles from Manhattan, I always disliked the city itself- too crowded and filthy IMO, even after it was "cleaned up."I could count on one hand the number of times I had been in Manhattan before that night. But the party went well, it was fun, I remember looking at the towers in the distance a couple of times... I started thinking, maybe it was time I gave the city another chance...

I didn't get home until about 5AM... I figured it would be worse to try and get an hour or two of sleep (I was not at all tired) then to just stay up. (Oh to be young again.) So I shut off my alarm clock since I always turned it back on right after it would go off so it was set for the next day. Took a quick shower, and went into the office extra early... always easier to get work done when no one is there.

I was at my desk when my phone rang, it was my parents (I had only moved out a few months before) my Mom was telling me a plane hit the world trade center! I told the couple of people who had offices near me and we went to another area of the building that had a television. We got there just in time to see the 2nd plane hit. We were of course all confused and thought they were showing a replay of the first but why was there already smoke? It didn't make sense... nothing made sense. Slowly it started to sink in... Soon the whole office (about 50 of us that morning) were watching it- we knew this was going to be a bad day. Cell phones were basically useless- the only communication I had with friends or family was IM. It was a very surreal day- a lot of people crying, tearing, some people couldn't watch... a couple of guys had wives and family that worked at the towers- they eventually left after being unable to get ahold of their loved ones. The rest of us just kept watching. It was obvious I wasn't getting home with all the bridges closed so the company had an apartment nearby they let me and another guy stay at that night.

I had IMed/emailed/called all my friends who I knew worked anywhere near the towers or lived in the city... I got through to one only to hear that his Dad worked at the towers, I hadn't know where his father worked. Unfortunately he did lose his dad that day, the only one in his entire company to die on 9/11- although he wasn't a "first responder" we have no doubt he stayed behind to help others.

The next evening when I finally got to my apartment I started seeing the photos of missing people up everywhere...they started marking the tires or cars left in parking lots to see how long they've been sitting since for many their owners were never coming back. I realized how I "got lucky" - had I not been at a bachelor party September 10th and went to work as normal, at regular time, on the 11th, I would have set my alarm for the next day... It would have gone off September 12th morning and really annoyed my neighbors... They would have contacted the building superintendent who would have opened the door to my empty apartment to find and shut off the alarm. He would have no idea where I was or where I worked, but he wouldn't have been able to miss the picture of the Twin Towers I had on my living room wall and wonder if I was ever coming back.
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