New York, September 11
 by Jenni

    I'm 16 and I was on vacation with my friend Brittany in NYC when the attacks occurred. Brittany was going toward upper Manhattan today. I told her I was going to the WTC. I was walking down church street to the WTC when I heard the sound of a low-flying plane so I looked up and saw a plane fly over and head toward the WTC/WFC. This didn't seem odd to me until I saw it was headed right for the WTC. I thought to my self, " Is that legal?"

    Just then it hit the north tower. I wasn't far from there so I started running toward the towers. At about 8:55 I got to them and people were running out of both towers and all the buildings. I was always a curious person so I went into the south tower trying to get a better look. I went to an elevator but a security officer said it was only for emergency evacuation. I started up the stairs pushing people out of my way. Just as I got to the sixth floor, the tower shook tremendously and it was like a wave of heat rushing past me and I knew what had happened. I ran to a window and watched debris fall from the sky. I looked down and saw flames shooting from the lobby and I knew I needed to get out.

    As I started back down the stairs everything was soaked in jet fuel and everything was burning. When I finally got to the lobby at about 9:45, everything was in flames and so I ran to a sliding glass door and tried to open it but I couldn't get it to budge. The temperature was so hot I thought I was literally cooking. I kicked out the bottom of the revolving door and ran out of the building. People were telling us to run so I went toward the World Financial Center Just as I ran past the WTC3 hotel building I stop to catch my breath. I sat down and looked at my hands. They were swollen and hurting from pushing on the torched metal doors. I got up and started walking again. I looked at my watch and it said 10:02. I got out my c-phone and called my mom. the line was really staticy but I got through. I told her where I was and that I loved her. Then I hung up. I called Brittany and told her I was fine and then I heard a roaring noise and I thought to myself," Not another plane."

    I turned around and saw the South Tower collapsing. I started running not sure where I would end up. Knowing the cloud of dust would catch up with me, I dropped rolled under a cab and laid there as glass and debris rushed past me. A few minutes later, I got out from under the car and stood up. I couldn't breath so I pulled my jacket off and placed it over my nose. I turned around and I could barely see the North Tower still burning. I sat down and started to cry because I was all alone in the Biggest City in the world and I was scared then this girl about my age named Amanda came up to me and we started talking. We talk about 10 minutes then we stood up, I looked at my watch, it said 10:17. We started toward the WTC3 hotel but we noticed it was mostly gone, only one side standing. Then it collapsed, I jumped out of the way, but Amanda squatted. That was the last time I saw her. I started back toward the Financial Center. I was getting there when I heard the noise. I turned and to my horror I watched the North Tower collapse. I ran into the WFC and leaned against a wall praying everything would be okay. After an hour of waiting I called Brittany. She was crying saying she thought I went back to the Trade Center and was there when the North Tower collapsed. I told her where I was and after 30 minutes of waiting, she showed up. We got into the cab and we went back to the hotel. I hadn't seen or felt terror until I looked in the mirror. My face was cut up, I was covered in ash, and my hands were peeling. I went to the window and saw where the WTC once stood. We took a bus out of town that night and I hope to never have to witness that again.


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