By Pat Reischour, Ď69
I got home about 3PM Tuesday, 11 September, 2001. We were able to see the awful event from our window here in the Chrysler Building. We could not believe the big hole in the World Trade Center Tower, and the black smoke coming out of the building. But much worse was to then to see the huge fireball coming from the other Tower and to then realize it could not be an accident.
We evacuated the building here and tried to get home, but we had to wait until the trains were running. Gina and I sat in a park near the train station until there was a bomb scare and the park was closed. We then just sat and waited until the trains started to run, Gina decided to try to walk at least part way. After a very slow and crowded subway ride home, I was never so happy to see all my cats in my life!!!
I was very worried about my best friend, Barbara, because her company was located on the 87th Floor of One World Trade Center. I really was afraid that she was dead, but I prayed that maybe she had just arrived for work when the plane hit the building and did not have time to go upstairs to her office.
I was finally able to reach my friend late in the afternoon and she was fine. She had to walk most of the way home from downtown Manhattan to South Brooklyn. She had just arrived when the plane hit her building and did not go upstairs but realized something was very wrong and started to try to reach home. Her co-workers are all fine, some of them had to walk down 87 flights of stairs -- mostly dark and with smoke all around. They saw some awful tragedies as they walked down and they could not save anyone - it was too late.
I am just very glad that all of us at Philippe Investment are OK.
PS - On July 4, 2001, I went to the movies and saw "Pearl Harbor". I felt so safe in my neighborhood, air-conditioned movie theater, in the 21st Century. Nothing like that could ever happen again, I thought.
On September 1, 2001, I came through the World Trade Center on the way home from a beautiful and restful 2-week vacation at the beach. It was Labor Day Weekend, and people were visiting the Towers, and the shops and food vendors in the lobby. It was a beautiful Saturday at lunchtime, and all seemed right with the world. I even got a cab home right away at the Vesey Street entrance of the WTC.
Ten days later -- and what I saw was unbelievable. I simply find it hard to believe our beautiful World Trade Towers are gone. I felt so proud to be a New Yorker and an American when I walked through that World Trade Center. I know we will recover, but it will take a long time.
Excerpt from an e-mail received from Pat September 19th:
I have been reading and posting on the web sites - it does help.
My company has decided NOT to send out our usual beautiful, French-painter scene Christmas Cards and make a donation to one of the WTC funds.† We will make our own little announcement and send it out.
That does make me feel a bit better.† I am so sorry about all the SI people that are missing.† I was remembering how my grandmother told me to get a job in the city because I would meet interesting people.† (I did.)
I guess a lot of us on SI grew up with that as a possibility. †Who ever would have thought this could happen.† I still sometimes cannot believe it!!