September 12, 2001
information on how you can help the World Trade Center victims and
their families, CLICK HERE.
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are still reeling from the events of yesterday, but all in the Cypress
family are all safe. Our hearts go out to all our friends who are
missing loved ones.
tried to get to work on Tuesday, not understanding the full extent of
the disaster that was unfolding. Almost immediately after the first
plane struck the North Tower, subway service was interrupted, so I
walked home. Just before I arrived, the second plane slammed into the
spent the day mostly watching the events unfold on television, just
like the rest of the world, except for the reminders that it was here
in my city, my home: the ambulances in the streets and the fighter
jets overhead. There was (and still is) most of all a stunned silence.
People in the streets walk quietly; there is no traffic to speak of. A
friend who watched at our house because he couldn't get home tried all
morning to get word about a good friend of his who worked in the North
tower, to no avail. I feel lucky that I didn't have a close friend or
relative who worked in the towers, but I have already spoken to
a couple of friends who did and haven't yet heard that they're
safe. They are all in our prayers.
Goodman's eyewitness account of yesterday's events (Joel is our
By now - you have
all seen what happened. Here is my account.
I got to work early this morning - 8:30am. My studio is 10 blocks
north of the Trade Center. The window of my room had a clear view of
the North tower. As I remember it, around 8:45 I was eating my cereal
and heard a boom. The windows shook. Now, a "boom" is not
often a reason to lift ones head in NYC. So being the New Yorker that
I am, didn't miss a bite and kept right on chewing. About 15 minutes
later, I heard another one and then the phone rang. It was David's
wife. Apparently neither of us decided to even look up from our desks.
David called with urgency and I ran to his office. We could not
believe what we saw.
On the top 12 stories of the North Tower flames were shooting out the
windows. Black smoke was billowing out of the top as if the Trade
Center itself was a super-sized industrial smokestack. We tried to get
our TV monitors to get reception, but to no avail. 15 minutes or so
later we decided to go up to the roof. The roof offers an unobstructed
view of both towers.
I was not prepared for what I next saw. The south tower was hit at
what looked like the 60-70th floor. The north tower, as mentioned
before, near the top. Flames coming out of both buildings and smoke,
smoke, smoke. It was an absolutely beautiful morning today. Perfect
weather - in fact, it doesn't get much nicer around here. The contrast
was remarkable. I was first struck with memories of the film
Independence Day. How could this be?? I thought, this is what war must
We met some of our neighbors on the roof and heard others' accounts of
hearing the plane and the boom. One woman kept saying over and over
again - this is Pearl Harbor! all of us - in utter disbelief. Cell
phone reception was not good and I moved to another part of the roof
to get better reception. As I looked back at my neighbors they began
to scream and contort their bodies as if they were being hit. We ran
over and saw the end of the south tower collapse. My knees felt like
rubber and I couldn't stand anymore.
After a short time more on the roof I went down to the studio to
return some calls from concerned friends. While on the phone with one
friend I was watching the smoke and fire. The North Tower has a very
large torpedo shaped antennae on the roof. This is the building I was
looking at. Then, right before my eyes, in what appeared to be slow
motion, the building just started to go down (collapse). As if you
took a knife and put it directly into a cake. It's something I will
One of the most awful memories is hearing the screaming that happened
as each building collapsed. It was all you heard. Obviously not those
in the building, but the thousands of people watching.
* * *
my wife and kids and I all rode down the West side on our bicycles to
a pier on 72nd Street and the Hudson River. There we caught our first
glimpse of the place where the twin towers used to be. A huge plume of
smoke still filled the sky above the wreckage. We stood in silence
with thirty or forty other people, who also came to witness and begin
the process of accepting that what used to be there is no more.
at the Chelsea Piers on 23rd Street helping people seeking information
about their missing loved ones.
strongest reaction is that yesterday was the saddest day we will ever
experience in our lives. What happened to cause people to be so angry
that they thought this horrible act was righteous and worthy of
celebration? That it was done can only enrage us, but what can we do?
The world changed yesterday and thinking of what the future holds for
us is frightening.
- Joseph Pierson
TO PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY WHO WANT TO
HELP, I HAVE A GREAT WAY OF HELPING: COME HERE AND SPEND MONEY. GO TO
A RESTAURANT, SEE A SHOW. THE LIFE OF THE CITY GOES ON.
- MAYOR RUDOLPH W. GIULIANI, SEPTEMBER 16, 2001
WEEKS AGO TODAY
© 2001-2003 Cypress
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