Glen Ridge resident Eve Allen wrote us with this recollection of Sept. 11.
September 11th was a day of disbelief, for me, a native New Yorker. From the news that the towers had collapsed to the phone call from Nancy Olson that she was home safe, by tugboat, from Manhattan, the day became increasingly surreal. I had to stop watching the news coverage, by the middle of the evening.
At about 10 a.m., I was ushered out of Fleet Bank on Ridgewood Avenue, which was closing the branch. I couldn√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t work out what was happening. All I had heard was the crazy news story that a small plane had crashed into the WTC. The bank had √¢‚Ç¨Àúlost√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢ our CD, so it had taken about forty minutes to deal with this problem. Nothing got resolved, since the bank√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s fax lines from CT to NJ had failed. My focus quickly turned to lower Manhattan, where I had attended classes at Nichols and Merrill Hall (NYU√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s Graduate School of Business Administration), steps away from the World Trade Center on Trinity Place.
I have a friend who lives with her family on Chambers Street, whose kids went to the local public school, downtown. My relatives, another friend who still worked in the WTC and had survived the 1993 attack, were all unaccounted for, to say nothing of the commuters whom we know, here in New Jersey. And you couldn√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t call New York City, since the phone lines were reserved for emergency services. Even if you tried, all you got was a √¢‚Ç¨≈ìbusy√¢‚Ç¨¬ù signal.
I collected our kids from school around 11 a.m. and we waited for their father to come home. They had evacuated his waterfront office building in Jersey City. He turned up with another Montclair resident, a stranger who√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢d needed transportation from Jersey City. He stayed at our house until someone came by car to collect him.
I don√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t remember much else about the day, other than the worry (alright, panic). In many ways I still haven√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t digested the experience. It did bring home a strong sense of community, as we found out, through the grapevine, how and where everybody was. The outrage over 9/11 that I feel (to this day) has no true outlet, but I take pride in the impressive recovery New York City and its supporters have made.
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