Jones Lived in New York City on 9/11
September 11, 2001 — Tuesday
I had been living in NYC for almost two years at the time. I was staying with a family friend on Bleecker Street which is about a block north of Houston Street, which is also known as ‘SoHo’. This area is about a mile and a half from The World Trade Center.
It was a beautiful Tuesday morning and I had been at the gym for a class early that morning from 7:30am to 8:30am. I was relaxing after class and talking to staff when people came in saying there was a major accident, possibly involving a plane that struck the World Trade Center. After a little while, I began walking a few blocks towards the subway station. By this time, it was after 9am as the second plane struck the South Tower, but I was not aware of it yet. I was told Subway service was unavailable at the time, possibly because of the accident at the WTC. I thought that was kind of strange but went back upstairs to try and get a taxi home. I was on 19th Street and managed to get a taxi, but streets were being closed off south of 14th Street for all traffic except emergency vehicles. This was very much out of the ordinary — and I still didn’t exactly know the extent of what happened, or what was going on. As I was walking about a mile on the way home, I saw emergency responders going towards the Trade Center.
When I arrived home, I turned on the news. After watching the continuing news coverage, I soon realized the tragic severity of what was really happening. From this point on, I was drawn to watch the ongoing news coverage. Once the north tower fell -(The first one struck, but the second to fall)-, TV coverage was interrupted. The giant antenna on top of the tower, used to broadcast many of the local channels was lost when the tower collapsed. I still had DSL internet which miraculously never lost service. It was unnerving to be without TV coverage and knowing that phone lines were also disrupted, basically unusable. Losing TV service was a significant disadvantage to keep up with the news coverage. I monitored a few news websites and a few message boards, as I attempted to keep up with the latest news at the time. It was so unusual to feel being in a state of both shock and disbelief, when you realize how much was lost that day.
In the days following, the lower part of Manhattan was a ghost town without regular traffic or the subway trains running south, below 14th Street. Most stores were closed for some time afterwards, because of the large scale of damage and destruction. You could barely go outside without needing a mask or something covering your face due to the visible thickness of air pollution and debris that was associated with the tragic aftermath of The World Trade Center.
I’m just one person among many others, with an understanding in my mind, how at times, many different or certain things can forever change and impact life situations. Since then, I became a nurse. I also knew that the way of life in New York and beyond, wouldn’t be the same as it was – and how very precious life truly is. *
I hope people can learn to value the sad lessons of — 9/11
*Angela Jones is a Registered Nurse working with Home Care and Hospice and Jones Memorial Hospital.