My Personal 9/11 Experience

I have held most of what I experienced inside all of these years. My own experience of the 9/11 attacks. There are so many stories, so many lives were changed forever. I think of it not just today, the day it happened but quite regularly for many reasons.  I think  I may do a documentary on it as there are so many stories still yet to be told, especially from people who were in different parts of the city. I remember going back a few days before that day, I was in the World Trade Center for a meeting with a major celebrity’s business team. We discussed the beginning of my company UBC and what it is going to do to help change the media world and how we all could benefit.  The conversation lead to how odd it felt being there. It was so weird for us all to come to the same conclusion that we felt ill at ease that day. I  said, ‘this place makes me nervous and I dont know why.’ Earlier in the year I had covered some of the musical events held outside.  KissFM did their Classic Soul concerts there. Even then, being outside of it made me nervous. Maybe because it was the largest building I have ever seen.  But getting back to that weekend, it was like we all felt something was about to happen but did not know what.

I went about my way and had planned a meeting with a couple of my business associates at the World Trade Center for that day, the meeting was scheduled for that morning around 9:30am. I had a late night the night before as I was doing a shoot or something re a show we were going to air, so I ended up to bed very late the night before the meeting.  I woke up late that morning, around 9:15am.  I jumped up from my sleep as I was late for the meeting. I turned on the radio first and was shocked to hear that a plane had hit one of the towers at the world trade center. I thought it was a horrible accident and thought about my business associates down there. I lived in Harlem at that time off of Lenox Avenue. I tried to call my associates but could not get through, and during that time, I heard about the second plane hitting another tower. I was shocked!!  The word was then that we were under attack. I didnt know what to do at that time. I have never been in a place where it was actually under attack and by whom? I had no idea. It was mind boggling for me. Too much to comprehend at the time. All I knew was that if we were under attack I had to get outside to find out what is going on. Oh, by the way,  the emergency alert system did not work. We heard nothing. That’s the system that says’ this is a test….’, lots of loud sounds. Well it didnt work that day for some odd reason. Anyway, I get myself together and run outside of my building into the street. It was chaotic. I began asking people what was happening and they said we were under attack by the enemy. A policeman told me to go back inside and lock the door. Of course I didnt do that. No one did. I told myself that I would go down fighting if I had too. Everyone was in the streets wandering around in a daze. All phone service was off, everything was cut off, baracades were put up, emergency vehicles running around, sirens blaring, people wondering what to do next.

I walked into the middle of Lenox Avenue and 130 street and looked down the road to downtown and saw the World Trade Towers smoking like crazy .Smoke towering into the air. It was so surreal. It was such a  bright sunny day and the towers were on fire, smoke filling the air. I was in shock. In a daze and afraid. At that time no one knew what would happen next. I was thinking, what if  there is a ground attackby the enemy?  but my mind said, ‘this is America, who the hell would even try some stupid shit like this?’ My thoughts then ran to my friends and associates but there was  no way to get to them, I heard on the radio about another plane headed to Washington. Then we heard about an attempt to blow up the George Washington Bridge. I went back up to my apartment, got my ID and a few other things and ran back out to go and find my business associates. I was walking, didnt care.  I came back out and began to walk down the middle of Lenox Avenue and saw the Towers go down right before my eyes. It was a nightmare. All I could do was stop in my tracks and cry and say ‘Oh My God’.  People around me did the same. We were broken in two. I was in a zombie state but began to make my way to Harlem Hospital to see if I couldfind out how to locate my associates. The wounded were taken to  hospitals and tramua units. Harlem Hospital is a level 10 tramua hospital so a lot of the injured were taken there. I started my journey there, looking, asking for the names of my people. Then I began to walk as far downtown as I could go before the police stopped me. Everything was blocked off. I think I saw some military trucks, cant really remember clearly as I was in shock.  It was just out of this world. I worried about my family as I knew they were trying to call me but could not get through. I can’t say I remember much else. It was like a dream.  A very bad one. I found out that my friend survived and was taken to the hospital in New Jersey. Some of my other friends were trapped in a building that had collapsed. They were rescued the next day.  Some of my friends and business associates I didnt even know were there a the time, did not make it.There were many people missing and unaccounted for for quite a while.  I was suppose to be there but by the grace of GOD overslept that morning. The scars still  run deep for many people I know. One of my close friends daughter lost seven of here very close friends all at once. She will never be the same. We all will never be the same.

Once the clean up started, subways started back running except where everything was broken up.During that time right after, I had to go downtown to a meeting on Wall Street and took the subway. It was so errie riding there, so quiet like a tomb. A lot of us on the train cried while riding past the World Trade Center area. We passed by the closed stops, very sad.   I was in mourning for all of the beautiful souls that were lost because of some twisted minds and dark hearts.  Such a waste.  After the clean up started, the wind would blow the smell  dead bodies all the way up to Harlem. It was the stench of death. It is something I will never forget.  People were very nervous. A car backfiredone day and people began to run in the streets. We were all very nervous, but we keep moving on,  No one can tell me New Yorkers are not the strongest people on this planet. Everyone can say what they want to about 9/11, use it as some political pawn, theaten to do stupid things, but New Yorkers know how real it was and still is today for all of us here.  We all have our own stories of that horrible day in that time in history. We have our broken hearts and the memories of the loved ones we lost that day. From the brave firefighters to the maintenance workers. We all remember and will never forget.

Peace and Love,

Peggy

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