9/11 Remembered: 5 Miles From Ground Zero

9/11 Remembered: 5 Miles From Ground Zero

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(On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Tales Told From The Road ran stories from its readers and other sources about their experiences traveling in the days surrounding 9/11. Over the coming days we will re-run many of those stories to commemorate a day in the history of the United States and the world that will long be remembered.)

“9/11 Remembered: 5 Miles From Ground Zero” By Rosemary Rennon

I was sitting at my computer at home on the west side of Manhattan, five miles up the road form the World Trade Center. There was a loud roaring sound outdoors.

At first I thought it was a temporary generator of some sort. But when it continued for fifteen minutes, I decided that it might be helicopters hovering over the Hudson River, just across Riverside park, so I turned on the TV to find out what and why.

That’s when I saw what was happening.

Only the first plane had hit by then. As I watched, I saw the second plane approach and plow into the other tower.

Wikipedia Commons Photo

I could barely believe what I was seeing; my mind became confused—wavering between “disaster movie” scenes and real-time reality.

I phoned a friend who worked in midtown hi-rise, and as I described what I was happening on live TV, the first of the WTC towers crumbled into itself—gone in 60 seconds!

Ten minutes later, the second tower disappeared, as well.

Stunned with disbelief, I soon began to smell the smoke drifting north along the river. The smell of death and destruction lingered for days in my apartment.

That afternoon I walked through the park to the riverfront promenade and down to the pier at 70th street where, until that morning, the Twin Towers were clearly visible.

Now, I saw only gray smoke and ash. Nobody on the pier spoke— just silent stares. That evening Manhattan was dead silent.

Two days later, I went downtown to see the ruins.

Soon after, I joined the Red Cross Respite Center team and helped feed the rescue workers at the site for the next eight weeks.

There I met a retired fireman who would write a book entitled Report from Ground Zero about the disaster and I helped him research and copy-edit it.

Rosemary Rennon is a multi-talented person.

She is, among other things, a published travel triter, photographer and editor who resides in New York City.

Her 9/11 story was originally published by Tales Told From The Road on September 26, 2011. It was also posted to the LinkedIn Group: Travel Notes – Travel Writers, Photographers and Tourism Group.


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