At the time I worked for a major Telco. We were on a conference call with our counterparts at our CO in Manhattan. During the call, we lost the connection. We tried repeatedly to dial back in only to get a busy signal. Our first though was “&^%$# We are the phone company. Why can’t we get a connection?” It wasn’t until another office mate ran into the conference room and said, “You guys have to see this” and drug us down the hallway to TV that we found out why.
We found out from a news cast that Twin Towers had collapsed and one of them had fallen on people we had been speaking with moments before. The entire building they were in was crushed flat, taking them and large part of the phone service in Manhattan with it. We lost a whole office full of people we had been working with for months. Even though we never met them face to face, we had become “phone friends” and their loss cut us all deeply.
Later I found out that the wife of one of my dearest friends had escaped the carnage simply because she had run out of lipstick. She had stopped at a store across the street to purchase some. As she was making her purchase, she saw the first plane hit the building. Horrified, she ran back to the subway and went home. Until Anna called to let us know that she was not in the buidling, we thought she was among the missing because her offices were on the 85th floor and she was scheduled to be in a meeting that was due to start a few minutes after the plane hit.
My uncle Rob was working in the Pentagon at the time. We had several bad moments as we studied maps trying to see if we could tell where his office was located in relation to the damaged part of the building. Unable to remember exactly where he was, we eventually gave up. There was much rejoicing when we were able to speak with him later that evening.
I am still quite hurt by 9/11. So many lost.. and for what… I would rather have all of the 9/11 celebrations cease so that I need not face an annual reminder of the ones I still grieve for.