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Lisa_

September 11, 2001: A World Trade Center Survivor's Account

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greatestnamelessman

I am speechless....your story is amazing.

 

From your description of the firefighter who pulled you out (not really remembering his face), I would like to think he was the close family freind we lost that day, or the brothers of 2 of my co-workers who were lost, or any of the hero firefighters who were lost that day whose families don't have any information on where they were or what they were doing.

 

You yourself are also a hero. Taking charge of the situation as best you could have, saving your friend and the elderly women, and letting everyone spend the night at your apartment. It's amazing to find out what your capable of when put to the test. You saved lives that day!

 

My fiancee at the time (now my wife) played a similar role that day also. She wasn't in the World Trade Center but worked at 61 Broadway (for those of you that don't know, 61 Broadway is 2 blocks east of WTC). She was one of the lucky ones to make the last Staten Island Ferry trip off the island. She grabbed as many of her co-workers as she could and they all spent the night at my in-laws house.

 

Its the countless stories like these of New Yorkers banding togethter and helping one another that I never get tired of hearing, and stories of survival like yours that should never stop being told. We cannot let a single person forget, ever. We as a country will have failed in our duties if we do.

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angelsRreal
You couldn't see us, but we were most assuredly with you that day.  I've never in my life experienced such a feeling of helplessness.  I felt like jumping through the TV and "doing something" about it.

absolutely.

Me too. I felt so utterly helpless. I wanted to turn back the clock and tell everyone "don't go to work today"; my heart bleeds for all the firemen and police officers who died bravely doing their duty. As well as for all of the soldiers who have died preserving and defending our freedoms before and since this dastardly attack. All are still in my prayers. As our illustrious President George W. Bush said, May God continue to bless America.

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Guest loriann

I wanted to echo what Texian said...

 

We watched it all live from the West Coast and as the towers fell that morning, my daughter and I burst into tears..

 

To know that you were going thru this excrutiating ordeal while we sat, safely in our home watching it all unfold is ... god, words fail me..

 

Again, thank you for sharing this with us..

Edited by loriann1

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RedMoonProject
cid_green_064_165.jpg

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financialpanther

I'm speechless. It seems surreal to me that anyone actually survived the horrors of that day. God bless you.

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Guest Hanoi Sean Penn
cid_green_064_165.jpg

:)

Its still hard to believe that those towers are gone and so many people died in them :( ..

Just Doesnt seem possible.

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patrickal

Tilly,

Your account sent chills through me, and not just because of the facts you laid out. I was supposed to be on your floor that day. I was, at the time, working for Nortel. We were doing a joint project with IBM at the time, and we had a project meeting on 59 every Tuesday at 9AM. I'm not sure if you were in the networking group. I did not know many of the Dean Witter people, but I knew most of the IBM'rs and the Nortel team.

 

We were having some pretty difficult technical problems, and I had been down there several times during the prior several weeks. I was planning on being there on that Tuesday. On Monday afternoon, I got a call from another IBM person asking me if I could attend a meeting in Scranton, PA the following morning. For purely selfish reasons, I said yes. From my house to Scranton is a one and a half hour drive. I was able to sleep until 7 instead of getting up at 5:15.

 

I was halfway to Scranton when the first plane hit. I was listening to WCBS Newsradio 88. My first reaction was that it could not be an accident, it was just too clear. I said to myself, thank God it was Tower 1 and not 2. When the second plane hit 1 minutes later, I knew right away is was terrorism. Now I was afraid for everyone I knew there.

 

I got to the IBM office in Scranton just as the Pentagon got hit. We cancelled the meeting right away. I was afraid of higways and state borders being closed, so I turned around and headed home. 15 minutes into the drive, Tower 2 came down.

 

I had been trying to call everyone I knew down there and could not get through. Now I was sure they were gone. I could not believe what was happening. I drove at 90+ MPH all the way home. It wasn't till 2PM that afternoon that I finally was able to reach one of the IBM specialists. She was supposed to be there also; only her husband told her that morning that an appraiser was coming to see their house for re-mortgaging, and she would have to work out of the house. From there, she was able to track everyone else down, and she told be that everyone we knew was safe. We were crying on the phone for at least 30 minutes talking about how lucky we were. After reading your story, I thank God that I was not there. I could not live with those memories.

 

I found out two days later that Orio Palmer, a Battallion Chief with NYFD, was missing. He was a friend from childhood who grew up in the Bronx with me. It was determined later that he had just gotten to the 78th Floor of Tower 2 as it started to collapse. I think about him constantly, and always wonder if I would have passed him on the stairs or in the lobby. It haunts me.

 

Six weeks after the attack, I was laid off by Nortel. Out of work for 9 months, I was able to land a job with IBM, working with some of the same people that were there that day. They are good people. I am now working in NYC every day, and I can't say I like it. I am always waiting for the next round to occur. I stayed out of NYC yesterday. I will never walk down the street or ride the subway in New York with a sense of ease.

 

It seems as though you have found peace in your life. I wish nothing but good for you. You have seen hell up close and personal, you deserve nothing but heaven now. God Bless.

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mikeaustin

wow, powerful story patrickal... welcome to the board! Don't know if you just wanted to drop in and leave, but hope not. Thanks for sharing.

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Anne

i ditto mike in those sentiments patrickal!

 

thank you for sharing!

I am so thankful to hear from the survivors as it brings hope to that fatal day!

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crowsnest

Tilly,

 

Thank you for sharing this horrifying event with all of us. I hope it has been easier for you in the last year.

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Maryt

Thanks for your account of that day. I'm still shaking after reading it. I'm at a loss as to what to say. I felt as if I were there, too. You are an incredible person to have made it out and God was surely with you. You were saved for a reason and I think that reason was to tell us what you went through so some people will realize why we have to remember that day every year. We ALL changed that day whether we want to admit it or not. And, if there is someone that didn't, there is something seriously wrong with them. Thanks again for your story and courage.

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freshmanforlife

tilly, your story is incredible. thanks for sharing it. it's amazing how you kept your composure in that situation. i probably would've puked my insides out.

 

tilly, you are all that and a bag of chips!

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tilly
tilly, your story is incredible. thanks for sharing it. it's amazing how you kept your composure in that situation. i probably would've puked my insides out.

 

tilly, you are all that and a bag of chips!

Actually I did puke when I got to Canal Street (combination of nerves and chinese fish garbage on the street not yet picked up) and then for about three months after that at least once a day.... Everyone else was having nightmares and panic attacts but I was the only one puking...lol

 

 

I was living on compazine for a while there..... :rolleyes:

 

Eating fine now though... Just had a huge plate of BBQ.....:)

 

 

 

Patrickal check your pms..... :wave:

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tigerkat

tilly thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I am not sure what else to say, it moved me very deeply and I appreciate you sharing it with us. I am so glad that you and your friend made it out safe and I hope that you have a wonderful, long, and healthy life.

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Irish42

God be with you.

 

I am sad that you went through it, but I am overjoyed that the evil men who perpetrated this utterly failed to destroy your life.

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growler

Tilly, and anyone else who got mad at me over on LGF:

 

I apologized there, and now here. I am sorry my questions, and tone, upset you so much. I thought the questions were legitimate, and tried to find out facts from various online sources. Tilly, J.D. and Mr Pol were gracious enough to try to answer my questions without attacking me, for which I thank them.

 

Again, apologies.

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tilly

Appology accepted as I posted on the other board too. Thank you for taking the time to come back ...... ;)

Edited by tilly

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Guest Hanoi Sean Penn

;)

Tilly thanks for sharing your story once again,i just wonder have you had any health problems because of the Fall out when the Twin Towers fell?

I hope not. :o Thanks...

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Armywife

Tilly, I want to thank you so much for sharing your story. It was a sad day to see what happened to our country. But I cannot imagine actually going through that. I am so very grateful that you are alive and are able to tell your story. May God bless you. {{{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}}

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tilly

Actually I have been lucky and not had any problems out of the ordinary but was just asked by my former employer to enroll in the case study being done regarding health issues... It is covereing not only people in WT but surrounding building, those that lived in the area and those that worked on sight afterwards....

 

I was not caught in the death zone of ash even though I was on the edge and did get covered in a dusting nor when I have come back did I spend any considerable time down in that area...

 

Very lucky and thankful...

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CitizenX

Tilly:

 

I was really moved by your account. Thank you for sharing with us.

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Guest Hanoi Sean Penn
Actually I have been lucky and not had any problems out of the ordinary but was just asked by my former employer to enroll in the case study being done regarding health issues... It is covereing not only people in WT but surrounding building, those that lived in the area and those that worked on sight afterwards....

 

I was not caught in the death zone of ash even though I was on the edge and did get covered in a dusting nor when I have come back did I spend any considerable time down in that area...

 

Very lucky and thankful...

;)

Thats good,I have heard that some of the searchers at ground zero have glass molecules in thier lungs,lung cancer etc...iTs good that you were not affected health wise...

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slickreadhead

Tilly,

 

I am glad I took the time to read your story. It is so easy for some, myself included, who were not there, to forget the exact tramatic affect that day had own our lives and this country. Until I read your story, it was easy for me to only think about it saying to myself,"Oh yeah, it was bad" without really understanding the complete horrible nature of that event beyond it just being very bad news being reported.

 

Your story helped me to see a very real picture far beyond what the media could ever do. I felt like I was there. Thank you for sharing.

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Lady O'Reilly
Dear Tilly,

What courage you have.  Thank you for your personal story of horror.  I don't think I will ever forget the pictures in my mind that you drew.  You should consider a career in writing.  God Bless.

Yes, I agree. That was the most descriptive and heartfelt Sept. 11 account I have read. it should be a magazine article.

 

Thank you for having the courage to share Tilly and for being such a great writer. I'm glad that you are doing better now.

Edited by Lady O'Reilly

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Dublin5

I work in DC Commerce and have just read your story and am trying to type through the tears. God bless you and thank you for sharing this with us.

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