The Day my Life Changed Forever

by Kim King


September 11, 2001 (7:00 AM) was a beautiful, clear day.  The sky was as blue as could be.  There wasn’t even a single cloud in the sky.  I had entirely no idea what this day would hold for me.  What challenges I would have to overcome.  What hurdles I would have to clear.  How strong I would have to be.  The worst day of my life was about to begin and I had no idea.  However on September 10, 2001, Ga Ga (my husbands grandfather, who has been a preacher for approximately 60 years) was sent a blessing from God.  Ga Ga felt a strong need to pray for me on Monday night.  He felt that somebody was going to break into my apartment or I was going to be hurt. Ga Ga prayed for me on September 10, 2001.  He prayed that I would be safe.  He went to bed Monday night still feeling uneasy about me.  His prayers are the ones that got my Guardian Angels in Heaven to watch over me on September 11, 2001.  September 11, 2001 was my worst nightmare that turned into reality.  This is the nightmare has changed my life forever!

Everyday on my way to work, I would stop and talk briefly with the doorman, Barat.  Barat and Israel were my favorite doormen.  Israel worked at night.  The first time I would see him would be on Sunday nights when I arrived in New York.  On September 9, Israel told me “I’ll see you Tuesday night”.  He would always help me with my laundry or carry my luggage to the elevator when I arrived in New York (approximately at mid-night).  Israel was so nice.  When I arrived back to the apartment from work, I would always stop at talk to Israel.  He would always ask me how my day went and I would ask about his.  He would tell me what were the best times to eat at Blimbies.  Israel told me that they made all their bread at the beginning of the week.  So if I was going to go there for dinner, I should go at the beginning of the week.  If I went at the end of the week, the bread would be stale.  Israel would always ask me how I ate that day because he was just diagnosed with very high cholesterol.  He would give me a speech on eating right almost every night.  Israel would always call me Mrs. Kim.  Barat didn’t work on Mondays, so Tuesday was the first time I would see seen him for the week.  On Tuesday mornings, Barat and I would talk for at least thirty minutes. 

On September 11, 2001, Barat and I chatted about how nice the weather was and how nice the weather was going to be for the week.  We discussed the Alabama football team and how they were going to do against Arkansas.  He was a major college football fan.  He would show me the point spread of all the football teams for the week and would then tell me what teams he was going to pick.  Barat knew statistics on every single college football team.  We discussed his favorite vacation places and I would tell him mine.  He loved Kissimmee, Florida, which is where his brother lived and where his family always vacationed.  He would tell me, all about where they went and what they did.  Barat told me all about his children and what they did on weekends.  He would also tell me his fears and I would tell him mine.  Barat always made me smile.  Everyday as I walked out the apartment building doors he would tell me, “Have a great day and we’ll chat tomorrow morning”.  I always left the apartment building with a smile on my face. 

            At 7:30 AM, I ended my conversation with Barat and headed out for work.  I remember that the walk from my apartment to Grand Central Station was very nice.  It was actually a bit cool but very comfortable.  My apartment was located on 45th and 2nd Avenue.  Grand Central Station was located on Lexington Avenue and it was about a 10 to 15 minute walk to the subway.  Once I arrived at the subway, I would take the 4 or 5 express line from Grand Central Station to Felton Street then walk to the World Trade Center Tower One.  My subway ride was approximately 15 minutes.  The express line was always packed.  After I got off the subway at Felton Street, it took me approximately 15 to 20 minutes to get to my office.  On September 11, 2001, I left my apartment earlier than normal.  I wanted to be prepared for a meeting I was holding at 10:00 AM about Railroad Taxes.

After Larry and Ajay (coworkers-friends) got to work, we all went down to get our morning coffee.  That morning I got to work before either of them. They were kidding me on the elevator ride down to the 44th floor because on a normal day I would be late and they usually had to wait on me.  They asked me if I spent the night because Monday night I worked late.  Since I got there early, we went down for breakfast early.  One of the Port Authority employees, Laura, was also on the elevator with us going to the cafeteria.  I asked her how her day was going and she asked me about mine.   I remember telling Laura, “My day is alright so far, but it’s still early”.  Once we got to the 44th floor, we then had to take an escalator down one floor to the cafeteria (43rd floor).  I had told them not to wait for me in the cafeteria because I was going to get something for breakfast too.  Sometimes when you wait in line for breakfast, it could take awhile because I always took time to chat and be friendly with the cafeteria workers.  I guess that’s just the way I was raised - to be nice and polite. 

            The cooks name is Angel and he would always have my breakfast fixed by the time I got to the front of the line.  I ate the same thing for breakfast everyday and I never had to tell him what I wanted, he always knew.   Angel's helper was just as nice.  I never knew his name but he was the only one that noticed that I had a tan after my vacation.  I remember him saying, “You look better with a little tan”.  I remember I laughed and said, “Thanks, I think so too, I was ghostly white last week”.  When he would hand me my breakfast he would always say, “Sweetheart, you have a nice day”.  After I picked up my morning coffee and my breakfast that morning, I briefly chatted with the cashier.  She was also a nice person and I chatted with her everyday but I never knew her name.  She would always tell me “Sweetie, have a good day”.  Sometimes she would even give me a discount, if my two scrambled eggs looked like one, she would just charge me for oe.  The cafeteria workers were the nicest people and they always made me smile. 

I then rode the escalator from the 43rd floor back up to the 44th floor to the where elevator banks were.  There were approximately 5 different elevator banks and each elevator bank would take you to different floors.  I waited for the elevator and there was nobody else around.  This was the first time ever that I was in the elevator alone and I remember thinking, “Wow, I can’t believe I get to ride up solo”.  The only thing I could think about on my elevator ride up to the 70th floor was the meeting I was holding at 10:00 AM.  I was worried that I wasn't as prepared for the meeting as I should have been.   I had gotten off the elevator and was walking back to my desk on the 70th floor with my morning cup of coffee and breakfast.  It took me approximately 20 to 30 seconds to get to my desk.  When I reached my desk and started to set my coffee down, the catastrophe struck. 

 An American 767 (Flight 11) airplane collided with Tower One.  The plane didn’t enter Tower One perfectly horizontal the wings were tilted slightly.  According to reports, this put the 767 entering the floors 79 to 83.  If the airplane had hit the Tower just 30 seconds earlier, I would have been stuck in the elevator alone and trapped.  If I had chatted with any of the cafeteria workers just 30 seconds longer, I would have been trapped in the elevator alone.  If the airplane had hit just 100 feet lower, I wouldn’t be here typing my story right now. 

When the plane entered the World Trade Tower One, the impact was enormously overwhelming.  For a couple of seconds I didn’t breathe, my body was frozen, my eyes were open wide but yet I couldn’t see what was happening, and my mind went totally blank.  Mentally I couldn’t even begin to register what was happening.  The sound of the impact was so massive; my body just trembled with fear, sadness, horror, and panic.  The sound of impact was so loud I was truly disorientated.  Tower One instantaneously rocked from side to side.  It must have rocked at least 15 to 20 degrees in each direction, to the point that it made you loose your balance, however, it felt like my feet were glued to the floor.  The floor shook so much your knees buckled, you could see the ceiling trembling above you, the windows were actually shaking and you could hear the sounds of Tower cracking apart.  The cracking sounds of the Tower were dreadfully unnatural.  My heart was about to beat out of my chest and my body was shaking from fear.  The horrifying thing now, was that this was only the beginning of the nightmare.

After the plane collided with Tower One, it then exploded.  The explosion seemed to have come about 10 seconds after impact.  However, things were in slow motion and my mind was now in overdrive.  I’m sure the explosion happened right after impact.  The explosion was massive it only magnified the rumbling, swaying and shaking of the Tower, things began falling off my desk.  It honestly felt like the floor fell at least a foot.  I thought the building was collapsing right then and there.  Parts of the ceiling were truly falling to the floor.  I was still standing at this point and I looked out the window and I saw gigantic white chunks of debris falling to the ground from up above.  I didn’t know what it was and my mind couldn’t even register what I was seeing.  I was completely in shock and extremely frightened.  My body was shaking --- badly from fear, and my heart was beating so fast and hard, I couldn’t breathe fast enough to keep up with my heart.  I felt like I was about to suffocate.  I was still frozen in my spot and it was as if my feet were setting in blocks of concrete. 

At this point I truly thought I was going to die.  I kept thinking “this is it”, I was about to meet my maker.   I thought I would never see Shannon, my family, and my friends again.  My heart was breaking into.  Sadness and sorrow rushed through my body.  This feeling was so horrible words couldn’t even describe it.

The cubical that I worked in actually contained approximately 10 consultants.  Most of these consultants worked for other companies.  Teresa, Larry, and I were the only Crestone employees that worked in that area.  Larry was nowhere to be found at this point.  I’ll never forget everyone’s eyes and the panic and fear in everyone’s faces.  Everybody was just frozen in his or her seat not knowing what to do or what was happening.  I’m sure some people screamed but I didn’t hear them, all I could hear was the Tower cracking apart.  At this time my mind was starting to go into overdrive and instinct took over.  The building was still rocking from side to side, creaking, and cracking apart and I said loudly “We’ve got to get out of here”.   I grabbed my purse and my cell phone because the first thing on my mind was I had to talk to Shannon (my husband).  I could have just as easily grabbed my laptop bag but didn’t.  

The coworker that sat beside me was in total shock and frozen in her seat.  I’m not sure if I took her by the hand or if she grabbed onto me.  The only thing I remember was telling her, “Come on, we’ve got to get out of here”.   We instantly ran for the stairway while the building was still rocking and cracking.  When we got to the stairway there was a young man standing in the doorway yelling “Stay where you are”.  He must have thought it was an earthquake because he braced himself in the frame of the door.  My first thought was that there had been an earthquake, then I thought it might be a bomb, however the thought of a terrorist never crossed my mind. 

I glanced to my side and saw Steve Keith (coworker) and I immediately ran to him.  I gripped Steve’s wrist and said, “What is he doing, we’ve got to get out of here and by the way, I quit”.  Steve told me to stay calm but my heart was beating so hard and my body was shaking so badly, I thought it was going to have a nervous break down.  Seeing the fear in Steve’s face made me even more frightened.  Steve’s face was covered with total fear and yet he still tried to calm me down while he remained frozen in place.   The young guy (standing in the doorway) finally moved away and said to us “Lets go”.  I said to myself, “70 flights of stairs”. 

We then ran into the stairway, Teresa said "Kim, please don't leave me", I took her hand and told her that I would not leave her.  We went through the first couple of floors fairly rapidly until we ran into other people in the stairway.  At this point there was some confusion because nobody knew what was going on.  Everybody just wanted to get out and get out as quickly as we could.  At first we were going down the stairs in two lines.  When the building stopped rocking and cracking, everybody soon breathed a sigh of relief because we thought it was all over.  We were now walking slowly down the stairs instead of running.  We thought we were safe but we still had to descend 70 flights of stairs (which is no easy task).  We had no idea that the building was engulfed with evil flames just above our heads.

I still had Teresa by the hand and we were going down the stairs as swiftly as we could, moving with the crowd.  I was having problems with Teresa because she was panicking and hyperventilating and was about to pass out.  We had to stop on one floor to let her rest and catch her breath for about 5 or 10 minutes.  It was necessary for us to let about 50 people pass by us.  Bob Dore (coworker) passed us in the stairway and saw that I was having problems with Teresa and he stayed back to help.  I let go of Teresa’s hand, went down one flight of stairs, and in a blink of an eye I was separated from them both.  I thought they were right behind me and when I looked back they were gone.  Someone had taken Teresa and Bob out of the stairway on that floor so she could get some water and calm down.  I didn’t see this happen and when I looked back and they were gone, I felt totally helpless, scared, and all alone.  I was separated from them both.  I asked myself, “Where did they go?”  I was surrounded totally by strangers.  However, these strangers were now lending a helping hand wherever or whenever they could.  As I carried on down the stairway frightened and alone, I ran into two other coworkers, Jill and Linda. 

Jill, Linda, and I (in this order) went down the remaining floors holding hands all the way down.  We were connected by the hands and weren’t going to let go of each other.  I tried to call Shannon with my cell phone but the stairway was steel encased and my cell phone had no reception.  I’ve never felt so helpless in my life.  We continued to down the stairs talking all they way down.  Linda kept asking me “Do you think this building is going to fall?”  I kept reassuring her that “These buildings are so well built there is no way they will fall”.  However in the back of my mind, I wasn’t so sure.  The very best built buildings could fall.  I tried to block that out of my mind and we carried on down the stairs, holding hands the entire way.   It was very hot in the stairway and everybody was drenched in sweat.  I heard someone say, “It must be 100 degrees in this stairway”.  Our hands were sweaty but we never let go of each other.  We gripped each other’s hand with everything we had.

Shortly after Tower One was attacked, Tower Two was attacked.  Another plane had collided with Tower Two.  We felt the impact of the attack on Tower Two in Tower One.  In Tower One, the lights in the stairway started to flicker off and on, the Tower again shuddered, rumbled, and swayed from side to side.  I remember telling Linda, “Oh no, we’re about to loose the lights”.  If the lights went out, we would have been in total darkness.  Nobody around us had a flashlight.  The lights stopped flickering and stayed on the rest of the way down.  When the Tower shuddered and the lights flickered, I was very terrified.  I wasn’t sure what was happening.  All sorts of thoughts were rushing through my mind.  I wondered if the building was starting to collapse.  After the lights stayed on and the building stopped shuddering, I calmed down a bit.  However, I was never at ease.  I was always on edge but very alert to my surroundings.  We continued to walk down the stairs.  After a couple of more flights of stairs, we began to calm down a bit more.  The Tower wasn’t shuddering anymore or making cracking sounds.  The Tower was silent once again.

 On the 44th floor we had to change stairways and merge with the other stairway, there were tons of people in this stairway already.  I remember Jill running to the windows to take a look.  Everybody was screaming at her to “Get away from the windows”.  Jill then ran back to us and told us that debris was still falling to the ground from up above.  Before I entered the stairway, I then tried to call Shannon’s work again and finally got through.  I didn’t realize what time it was and he wasn’t even at work yet.  He was on his way to work, listening to a CD and had no idea what was going on. Shannon was oblivious of what was unfolding around me.   I was able to talk to Dalisa (at Shannon’s work) briefly.  I remember asking to speak to Shannon and Dalisa said, “Kim, is this you”.  She then told me that Shannon wasn’t even at work yet.  I told her to tell Shannon that something had happened to the Trade Center, that I was ok, and we were evacuating the building as we spoke.  She asked me what floor I was on and I remember asking someone else what floor is this.  I then told her we were on the 44th floor.  I couldn’t even determine what floor it was.  Even though, I just came from this floor not to long ago.  I wanted to get through to Shannon because I didn’t want him to worry about me.  I just knew if he saw this on the news he would just be crushed with worry and fear.  Dalisa is the one that told me the Tower was hit by a plane.  When we entered the stairway I lost my connection from Dalisa.  My phone went dead.  I was disabled from the rest of the world once again.  I felt so helpless.

  We were merging with the other employees that were also full of fear, and still holding hands with Jill and Linda.  Merging with the other people in the stairway that also wanted to get out as soon as possible and not be separated from each other was difficult. There was a man that saw we were linked by our hands and he stopped to let us pass by together.  During the merge we never let go of each other.  It was going to take another disaster to make me let go of Linda’s hand.  Our hands were stuck together like they were glued with super glue. 

 I told everyone around me what Dalisa had told me.  I was thinking that a small prop plane must have hit the World Trade Tower because they flew around there all the time.  I had no idea what was really happening.  I was thinking that a prop plane could cause that much destruction, but in reality it couldn’t.  It was best for everyone that we didn’t know what was unfolding around us.  If we had known what was really happening, this horrible tragedy would have been much worse.  If we had known what was going on or that the building was totally engulfed with flames of evil just above our heads, I believe people would have trampled over others to get down and more people would have died or been severely injured that day.  The elderly and the handicapped might not have made it out.

 When an injured employee would come down the stairs, we would have to stop and get totally still and flat against the wall.  At one point, we had to wait for a burned victim to get through.  A gentleman led this injured lady down the stairs as quickly as she could move.  This lady was burned so badly her skin had bubbled up like huge blisters and some of her skin was just flaked up like she was shedding her skin.  She was burned all over her face and arms and was in total shock.  She held her hands straight out in front of her, like she couldn’t move them.  She was trembling so bad it was like she was freezing.  She never looked at anybody.  Her eyes were focused straight ahead.  You could actually smell the burned flesh as she passed by and the smell turned my stomach.  I was starting to get uneasy once again.  We were then told to go down single file so the injured and the firefighters could make it up or down the stairs.

 Still Linda, Jill, and I were hand in hand all the way down.  In this stairway, we met Mark Oliver.  Mark was our human angel sent to help us through this horrible tragedy.  I know God sent many Guardian Angels for us to make sure we got out safely and God also made Mark cross our path because HE knew we needed Marks help.  If God hadn’t sent Guardian Angels for us, I believe I wouldn’t be here today.  God was smiling down on us on September 11, 2001.  The reason why God was smiling down on us; is still unknown to me.

 At one point we had to wait for a handicap lady to pass by.  There were four guys that helped her down the stairs.  They would take turns carrying her.  One guy would carry her a couple of flights, then another guy would take over.  Those guys are heroes and were her Guardian Angels.  It was amazing how the New Yorkers were helping each other.  Just about everyone in the stairway was holding hands with someone else. 

 On occasion we all started to get a little uneasy.  When one of us would start to get upset, Mark would console us until we were fine and then take his place back in line.  Mark has a heart as big as Texas.  I kept telling myself it was all over and we were all going to get out ok.  However in the back of mind, I wasn’t so sure.  I just knew I had to remain strong and calm.  We were still stuck in the stairway at this time, we were only about half way down the 70 floors that we had to descend in order to escape.

 We were talking to everyone around us.  We were making new friends and casually laughing in the stairway now.  On one flight of stairs, I laughed when I skipped the last two steps and almost fell.  We were making jokes about how hot it was in the stairway.  Mark was telling us where he was from, trying to keep our minds off this horrible situation.  Mark was originally from England and had only been on the job for three weeks.  He told us all about England and anything else he could think of to keep us preoccupied.  I remember Jill saying, “I always knew it would take an act of God to delay our project”.  We just laughed. 

 We had to stop many times for the injured to pass by.  Sometimes we would be stopped for at least 5 to 10 minutes.  Most of the victims that passed by were very bloody - but not burned.  The injured all seemed to have face and arm injuries.  The handkerchiefs that covered their faces were almost entirely covered with blood.  I assume the windows on their floor must have shattered and the glass that was flying through the air attacked their faces and arms.  Not a single one of these injured victims that passed by me was in tears and it didn’t look like they had been crying either.  They appeared to be pain free but I assume they were in shock.  These injured victims were men and women and none of them ever made a single sound.  I made eye contact with a few of these people but I couldn’t decide if I saw fear or shock in their faces.  There were other employees that were doing their best to help the injured victims down the stairway.  When the injured were coming down, people above would yell, “Injured coming, get flat against the wall”.  We would get flat against the wall, be completely still, and silent so they could pass and get immediate medical help.  I only saw two burned victims that I recall.  Most of the injured victims that passed by me were severely cut and bleeding profusely.

 Somewhere around floor thirty is when we started seeing the firefighters coming up.  You would know when they were headed up because the people from below would start yelling, “Firefighter coming up, get against the wall”.  When each firefighter climbed up the stairs to battle the evil flames, we would have to get flat against the wall and be completely still.  The firefighters were carrying so much equipment on their shoulders and back; I don’t see how they made it that far.  They needed all the room they could get so they could get through the stairway flooded with scared people.  Each firefighter was carrying a huge oxygen tank, mask, and a piece of the water hose.  The water hose was huge and it looked so heavy.  All of them that passed by were telling us to “Stay clam, you’re almost out and you are going to be just fine”.   All the firefighters were consoling us as they were going up in the Tower engulfed with flames of evil.  You couldn’t see fear in any of their faces.  At this point, the firefighters knew it was a terrorist attack and they still didn’t show any fear in their faces what so ever.  The firefighters all were smiling as they passed by.  One firefighter would touch everybody on the shoulder and say, “Stay calm, you’re almost out”.  As the firefighters passed by we all were saying, “Thank you”.  Those firefighters are the real hero’s.  Those firefighters were also our Guardian Angels.  Those firefighters are the ones that lost their lives so we could get out of the burning Tower safely.  I never realized how dangerous the job of a firefighter was until today.  They risk their lives everyday to save complete strangers and sometimes loose their lives in the process.  These guys are the biggest HERO’S of all.

I will never forget the firefighter that took a knee in front of me.  He was so tired from climbing all those stairs and with all that gear that he had to carry on his shoulders and back.  He dropped to his right knee and took off his hat to rest.  I remember his friend asking him by name (which I can’t remember) if he was ok.  He told his friend that he was ok and that he just needed a second.  I remember him asking his friend, “What floor is the fire on?”  I don’t remember what his reply was.  When he took his hat off, I noticed that this young man couldn’t be more than 35 years old.  He only rested for a minute then he picked up his gear and carried on.  When he got up he told us “Your almost out, your going to be fine”.  He was so tired but he continued to climb up the stairs in the Tower engulfed with flames.  His friend was just as young or even younger.  After they passed, we continued down the stairs single file.  Linda, Jill, and I never let go of each other.  We were separated from all of our other coworkers.  They were behind us somewhere in the stairway. 

At this point we started smelling jet fuel and the smoke in the stairway.  The smell was very strong and it was kind of hard to breathe.  The fire alarms were now going off but there were no sprinklers in the stairway.  I’m not sure if the fire alarms were always going off or if I just noticed the alarms when we started smelling the jet fuel and smoke.  The firefighters that we met in the stairway started telling us to cover our noses.  We did as we were told.  It was getting hotter in the stairway as we carried on and everyone was drenched in sweat.  All the guys were taking off their sport coats and shirts, leaving on their undershirt.  The women were taking off their sport coats as well.  Some women were taking off their shoes and leaving them behind in the stairway.  I took of my sport coat and covered my nose with it.  The smell was so horrific.

At this point I started to get a little scared again and so very bothered.  I kept wondering why we now smelled jet fuel and smoke when the plane hit between 79th and 83rd floor.  I was wondering if there was fire somewhere down below us that we didn’t know about.  There was an older man a couple of people ahead of us that would feel each door as he passed.  He would then yell, “This door is cool, no fire”.  I remember him yelling down to the people ahead of us, in a joking way, around floor 50 or 60, “Come on people, I’m overweight and have two artificial knees and I still can move quicker than you guys”.  That made everyone laugh.  We continued going down the stairs until we encountered more firefighters or injured victims, then once again we would get against the wall and wait in silence to let these people pass.  Around floor 20, this older man (that was feeling each door as he passed) stood back to let us go by.  He didn’t seem fatigued so I’m not sure why he did this. 

When we finally reached around the 18th floor there was water everywhere but there were no sprinklers in the stairway.  I didn’t know where the water was coming from at the time, but I later decided that a water line must have busted.  The water that I saw was coming out the ceiling pipes in the stairway.  The water had to be coming from somewhere else too because there were too much water in the stairway for it to just be dripping from the ceiling.  The water was ankle deep and we walked the rest of the way down in ankle deep water.  The water was gushing down the stairs like a waterfall. Our feet were entirely soaked.  Although the hurdles began to get tougher, we remained strong and we continued down the stairs as rapidly as we could - hand in hand.  Now Mark had Jill’s hand, Jill had Linda’s hand, and Linda had mine. 

Around the 12th floor we had to wait to let a large group of firefighters pass by.  Linda kept asking me if I thought the building would fall and I responded “No, these building are built very well and there was no way it would fall and even if it was going to fall it would have already fallen”.  In the back of my mind I was asking myself, “Could it?”  Mark, Linda, Jill, and I were now the first ones in the line.  We had to wait so long the last twelve floors were already clear.  We then ran down the rest of the floors counting them down out loud as we passed each floor.  12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and then we said, “Yeah, were out”.  However, this was not the end the nightmare but a continuation of it. 

After we exited the stairway, we were still in Tower One on the second floor.  A policeman that was holding the door open for us, were screaming at the top of their voices to “Run, Run, and Move it”.  At this point, I was very scared and quickly realized this situation was more severe than I thought it was.  My heart was beating so fast once again and my body was shaking so badly with fear and fatigue.  They were telling us to leave our shoes on because there was glass everywhere.  I thought about those women that took off their shoes and just left them behind in the stairway

We were still in Tower One and had to go down an escalator that was also covered with water.  There was a policeman at the top of the escalator screaming at us to “Go, Run”.  We were then pushing people in front of us to hurry them up and passing the slower people on the escalator.  The escalators were not working, so some people were having trouble getting down.  Everybody was so tired.  I was moving as quickly as my legs could possibly go.  There was a policeman at the bottom of the escalator helping everyone down.  This policeman was making sure people didn’t slip or fall down escalator and was helping everyone as they passed by.  My heart was beating so hard, I was so tired, and my legs were like rubber after descending 70 flights of stairs.  My legs were actually shaking from fatigue.  However, I knew I had to keep moving quickly.  My adrenaline was kicking in.  I believe I was yelling, “Go, Go, Go”.   

After we got to the bottom of the escalator a policeman was screaming at us at the top of his voice, “Run through the mall, move it”.  The policeman was yelling at us to “Run as fast as you can”.  You could hear the fear in his voice.  We were now on the 1st floor of Tower One.  We ran through the revolving doors, which was the entrance to the mall from Tower One.  Just the frame of the revolving doors now stood, the glass had shattered and glass was everywhere.  We ran through the mall as rapidly as we could, linked by the arms.  Mark never left our side.  I remember and elderly man being put on the stretcher with an oxygen mask on his face.  This man must have been 60 to 70 years old and I remember seeing the fear in his face, we actually made eye contact.  I’m sure he noticed my fear as well.  There was blood all over the floor, and people were starting to panic, cry, and scream.   People started to sprint for the doors as hastily as they could.  The sprinklers in the mall were now going off.  The fire alarm was so loud that it was about all you could hear.  We ran through the mall following the path of blood and then we were directed to run toward Borders (bookstore).  There were policemen all through the mall screaming at us to run and to make sure we ran in the right direction.

            We were then directed to run up another escalator.  My adrenaline was kicking in even more at this point.  We were again moving up the escalator as fast as we could and passing the slower people as we did.  I believe I was yelling, “Run, Run”.  I was so frightened and tired.  The policeman and the firefighters screaming at us made me so fearful I was almost in tears.  After we got to the top of the escalator, I looked out to my right at the courtyard and saw total destruction. 

The courtyard was the area with the huge Globe that was also a water fountain.  This was the courtyard where we frequently sat on the bench eating our lunch and viewing the beautiful site.  This area was absolutely breathtaking on a cool day.  The Towers were amazing works of art.  We would sit there and look up at the Towers and the stunning view in awe.   We would feed the birds with our left over bread.  We could just throw one piece of bread and about 50 birds would flock over to you.  Larry, Ajay, and I would talk about how nice it was in the courtyard.  Now the once beautiful courtyard was entirely covered with huge chunks of concrete and steel; and debris was still falling from up above.  Much of the debris was on fire or smoldering.  A coworker (Larry) said that he actually saw body parts in the courtyard.  I am thankful that I did not.   When I saw all of this destruction, I believe I started to go into shock.  I believe I said, “Oh dear God”.  Jill started to cry.  As we continued to run, Mark was consoling Jill.  He was more concerned with us than with himself.  Mark could have gotten out much quicker but he stayed back with us.  I was truly horrified at this point and the policeman was still yelling at us to “Run as fast as you can”.  .  We were then directed to exit out to the street by Borders (bookstore). 

When we got to the doors to exit out onto the street there were policemen and firefighters screaming at us “Run to Broadway, duck and cover your head, and don’t look back”.  On one of the police radios, I actually heard someone say, “People are jumping”.  I covered my head with my sports coat and ran.  Covering our heads kept the falling glass and debris from hurting us.  Mark, Linda, Jill, and I now linked by the arms ran across the street.  While we were running across the street as rapidly as we could, I twisted my ankle.  I was in total shock and disbelief at this point.  We kept running until we reached Broadway.  Once we got to Broadway, I turned and looked back and up.  The top of Tower One and Tower Two were totally engulfed with black smoke and flames of evil.  The black smoke just hovered over the Towers.  The magnificent Towers that were now engulfed with flames of evil were such a sad sight.  We all just stood there for a second in shock, in silence and in disbelief.  I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  I was thinking to myself, “How could this be possible?  This horrible tragedy was so inconceivable.  How could this horrible nightmare really be happening?

Mark was always looking after us.  He said, “Come on we’ve got to keep going”.  Because of Mark, we kept on moving North.  As we walked north, we kept looking back at this horrible sight.  As we kept walking north, I kept trying to call Shannon’s work but couldn’t get through.  We were still disabled from the rest of the world and I felt so helpless and terrified.  This horrible situation didn’t seem real.  It was like a nightmare, not reality.  However, the nightmare continues.

Everybody in the street was asking, “Where do we go now?  What do we do now?  What’s happening?”  These are the questions that we were also asking.  We were just wondering around the streets with no direction.  The policemen just kept telling us to go north.  Some people were crying, some just stood there looking in silent at this horrible tragedy, and some people were taking pictures.  We wanted to sit down and rest a little but I was afraid if I sat down, I couldn’t get back up.  Mark wouldn’t let us rest anyway.  He made us keep moving north.  My legs were starting to ache.  Mark bought us water at one of those little stands because he wanted us to have something to drink.  He told us that he had a friend that lived only five blocks away and he wanted to take us there.  He said, “We need to get off the street”.   It is so hard to believe that a total stranger would be more concerned with our safety than with his own.

We then headed North to his friends apartment to see if he was home.  Thank Goodness he was.  His friends name was Zack.  I never did know what Zack’s last name was, but he was just as nice as Mark and as soon as we walked into his apartment he asked us, “Do you need anything?”  Zack took us into his apartment with no questions asked.  He just opened his doors to us, total strangers.  He told us to make ourselves at home.  Get whatever we wanted.  Zack was my human Angel number two.  Zack’s apartment was so small.  His apartment only had one room, small kitchen, and a bathroom.  His living room was also his bedroom.  He slept on the floor at night on a futon. 

Zack had an apartment with a perfect view of the Twin Towers.  From his window we had a front row seat to what was yet to come.  When we got to Zack’s, we found out that the Pentagon had also been hit.  I felt sick and wondered what was next.  I was terrified and felt so trapped and helpless.  There was nothing that I could do.  All I could do is just sit at Zack’s apartment and wait to see what happens next.  We still couldn’t make phone calls on the cell phones or even on a regular phone.  We had no idea where all our coworkers were and we were so worried for them.  All of our coworkers were behind somewhere in the stairway, however we didn’t know how far back they were or if they have gotten out yet. 

We watched the burning Towers and the falling debris from Zack’s window.  Still in shock and disbelief.  I still couldn’t believe what was happening or what I was seeing.  The way the black smoke hovered around the Tower and how the flames just engulf the top of the Towers was so evil.  It seemed like we were watching a movie and this couldn’t really be happening.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.

About 10 minutes after we got to Zack’s apartment, Tower Two collapsed.  Tower Two collapsed in only 45 minutes after it was attacked.  If we had been in that building, we wouldn’t have made it out.  The rumbling sound, the glass shattering, the cracking of the Tower, the black smoke, the screaming of the people on the street was so enormous words can’t begin to describe it.  I felt numb, sick, empty, scared, and helpless.  Together we watched the murder of so many innocent people.  We didn’t see the people die but I knew there were a lot of people that were still in the Towers.  We just stood there in disbelief, in shock, and in silence.  I just held my hands over my mouth, I couldn’t speak, my eyes were wide open, and I believe I said after a minute, “Oh, dear God, there are people still in there”. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion at this point and the 30 seconds of devastation that it actually took the tower to fall to the ground seemed like an eternity.  I remember asking, “Are we far enough away, as I was backing away to the door?”  I remember Linda backing up with me.  I thought the rumble and vibration of the Tower would shake the foundation of Zack’s apartment and it could collapse too.  We were on the sixth floor of his apartment building.  I knew I couldn’t get on the street but I wanted out of Zacks apartment too.  When Tower Two collapsed it produced a very dark cloud of smoke, black dust, and flying debris that traveled almost all the way to Zacks’ apartment.  I remember Mark telling Zack, “Here it comes, close the window”.  The dark cloud of smoke was pitch black and the smell was horrible.  Zack then closed the windows so the smell and smoke and flying debris wouldn’t get into the apartment.  If the Towers had fallen in my direction, I would probably be dead too.  I could not believe that the Tower  actually collapsed and even harder to believe was the fact that a building such as this fell straight down as if it had been planned by a demolition crew and that it fell in only  45 minutes after it was attack by terrorist.  I was in such disbelief.

 It felt like my heart was about to beat out of my chest.  Once again I tried to call Shannon’s work but my hands were shaking so badly I couldn’t dial the phone.  I had to redial the number about 7 times before I got it right and once again I was unable to get through.  We were disabled from the rest of the world.  I have never felt so helpless in my life.  I felt tremendous sadness for all the injured people and the thousands that I had just watch die a horrible death, and fear that it wasn’t over.  I just wanted to hear Shannon’s voice.  I kept asking myself, what was next?  Are we safe?  Are we going to be bombed next?  Are we too close to this horrible tragedy?  Is it over?  Is this the end of the world?  We all just paced back and forth in Zacks apartment.  We hardly said a word to each other.  Someone had said they heard there could have been harmful chemicals on those planes.  I asked myself, “If this is true, what did we breathe in?”

             Only 18 minutes later Tower One collapsed.  My heart fell out of my body.  I felt sick, numb, empty inside, helpless, and getting more scared by the minute.  I didn’t know if all my coworkers and the client got out safely.  I knew there were people still in the Tower.  I couldn’t even imagine what went through the minds of those that were still in the Towers as they fell to the ground being surrounded by steal and concrete.  We once again watched the murder of so many innocent people.  None of these people deserved to die this horrible death.  How could this be happening?   

I just stood there in total shock and disbelief.  Again, the rumbling sound was so massive, the falling debris was everywhere, glass was flying through the air.  The cloud of black dust and the way the Tower collapsed straight down, was beyond belief.  My whole body was shaking with fear.  We were entirely speechless and numb once again.  I told myself all the way down the stairway that the Towers would never collapse.  I tried to make myself believe this, but in the back of my mind I was thinking they could.  Tower One fell at 1 hour and 28 minutes.  We were only out of the building 28 minutes before it collapsed.  We escaped the angel of death by 28 minutes.  Linda started to cry and Mark again consoled her.  I remember him telling her, “You’ve got to let it out, there is nothing wrong about crying”.  I was in such shock; I just stood there watching in silence.  After both Towers had collapsed, the eerie smoke never dissipated.  You couldn’t see anything but this smoke from here on out.  The smoke was so thick and it just hovered over the city. 

I then again tried to call Shannon’s work and finally was able to get the call through.  This time I talked to Amanda.  She told me that Patty (I call her Shannon’s Florence Mom) had taken him home.  She said that they left after Tower One collapsed and probably were not there yet.  She told me to call Shannon in about 10 or 15 minutes, that he should be home then.  We had to take advantage of the phone call and I asked Amanda to call people for Linda and Jill, so their families would know they were safe and okay.   Jill was so shaken; she couldn’t remember her own phone number.  Jill’s husband is a doctor and we had Amanda look up the number for the hospital in Rhode Island.  She finally got through to Jill’s husband and Linda’s family.  Shannon’s coworkers are the best.  I told Amanda that I was having problems getting calls to go through and for her to call and just tell Shannon that I was okay and for him to call my parents.  I told her to tell him that I would call him as soon as I could get a call to go through.  She asked for Zack’s phone number and asked where I was.  I wasn’t thinking at the time about everyone getting calls through to me better than I could get calls out.  Amanda was on top of it.

            I waited about 10 minutes before I tried to call Shannon at home.  This was the longest 10 minutes ever.  I got through the first time I tried to call home and I finally got Shannon on the phone.  He was just walking in the door.  This was the very first time that I had been able to talk to him.  Shannon didn’t know where I was or if I was alive, or dead, or trapped somewhere in the collapsed Tower.  When he answered the phone I said, “Hey babe”.  He was crying so hard, I couldn’t understand him.  He finally said, “I thought I lost you”.  Hearing Shannon cry so hard just broke my heart.  I knew I had a long journey ahead of me and I couldn’t break down now.  I had to remain strong, but I was very shaken.  I told Shannon, “Your going to have to try a little bit harder than that to get rid of me”.  I reassured Shannon that I was fine and unhurt.  I came out of the building without a scratch, only with a twisted ankle.  It was so good just to hear his voice.  Hearing his voice gave me the strength I so desperately needed.  Shannon called my parents and gave them Zack’s number and I was able to talk to my mom, Van (brother), and to Keith (brother). 

            Van was so determined to come to New York to get me.  He kept demanding for me to tell him where I was.  I told him that he couldn’t get in if he did come.  They had all the entrances into New York closed and nobody was getting into the city.  We were trapped.  I told him that I would call him later and tell him what my plans were going to be.  After I got through to mom again she told me that he had already taken off work and packed a bag and was ready to head to get me.  At this point, I had no idea what we were supposed to do.  Mark and Zack didn’t want us to leave the apartment, because once we left the apartment we couldn’t get back.  There were barricades all round us because we were so close to the Towers.  Once we went through the barricades, there was no turning back. 

I finally called Susan Hebert (coworker) to see who had actually called in.  We were worried about our coworkers.  All we knew was that they were behind us, out of sight.  We wanted to know if anybody else had called in.  Susan told me that we were the last of the Crestone employees to call in.  Susan asked if we were all ok and who was with me.  I remember Jill getting on the phone and telling Susan, “Susan, I don’t know what your plan is for us, but my plan is - I’m going home”.

Our company called Shannon to see if I had talked to him yet.  Shannon gave them Zack’s phone number and Cal (the president of Crestone) called me.  Somehow Crestone found where everybody was and had a conference call.  They pulled us all in on this call so we would know where everybody was and that everybody was ok.  Everybody with Crestone did get out and were safe however some of the employees just got out in the nick of time.  We were then given direction on what to do to get out of the city.  They wanted us out of the city before nightfall.  They were worried what might happen to the city after dark.  They wanted us a far away from Manhattan as we could possibly get.  I wasn’t even thinking about what could happen after nightfall.  I wasn’t thinking much at all.  However, getting out of the city was just fine with me.  I was ready to go.  I wanted to see Shannon as soon as possible.  Crestone gave us two options.  One was to wait until the airports reopened and fly home and the other was to rent cars and drive all the way home.  I told Cal (President of Crestone) that I was not getting on a plane and I was speaking for everybody on my end!  Somehow Crestone got car reservations (which was not an easy task) at Islip Airport in Long Island.  We got to hear all of our friends/coworkers voices and that made me feel so much better.  I now knew everyone did get out and was ok.  Right after we hung up the phone from the conference call, Zack lost all power.  The power had to be turned off because of the fear of gas in the air.  I think that’s what smelled so bad.

At 4:00 PM EST we decided to leave Zack's apartment on foot and try to make our way to the subway.   Mark asked us, “Do you want me to go with you so you’ll make it?”  He was still more concerned about us than with himself.  Jill and Linda left their purses behind in the Tower therefore they had no money or identification.  Mark wanted to give us money and I told him that I had $80.00, my ATM card, and credit cards.  We were fine on money.  He insisted on us taking $100.00 because he said, “The ATMs are probably down and you shouldn’t be out on the street without money”.  He also gave us paper and pens just in case we needed to write anything down.  When we walked out of Zacks apartment, the hallway was completely dark.  This apartment building was so old there weren’t any emergency lights.  We found the stairway and again had to go down stairs but this time it was a little different.  We were walking down the stairway in total darkness.  It was pitch black; we could barely see each other.  We descended down six flights of stairs in total darkness (again hand in hand and scared). 

            When we walked out unto the street, I remember debris still flying and something that was like sand getting in my eyes.  This gritty debris made my eyes very scratchy and irritated.  We stood there for a second and looked back at what we escaped by 28 minutes.  Looking back at this horrible tragedy was awful.  Seeing it in person and seeing it on TV is two different things.  I was standing there in silence looking back and the once beautiful Twin Towers that were now just a pile of rumble.  I was seeing it with my own eyes and I still couldn’t believe it.  The pile of rumble was still on fire and the smoke was everywhere.  This was such a horrible sight.  I remember asking myself, “How did we get out of there?  How many people are still trapped in the pile of rumble?”  It was a very sad moment.  I almost broke down then but I held it back and carried on.

 The streets were completely empty around Zack’s apartment.  The police had barricaded all the streets around the World Trade Center so nobody could get too close.  It was like a war zone.  We were on the streets alone, with the exception of the policemen at each of the barricades.  It was so eerie and still very frightening.  Debris (gritty dust) was still flying through the air and it was approximately eight hours after this horrible tragedy happened.  We were breathing in this debris and it was still getting in our eyes.  I have never seen the New York streets so deserted.  It was like everyone else was dead and we were the only survivors.  There wasn’t anybody anywhere.

            The subway that we had to take was about a mile way.  Once we got to the subway, we took it to Penn Station.  At Penn Station, Linda and I split from Jill.  Jill had to get to Newark to meet her ride and we were headed to Long Island.  Jill left her glasses behind and couldn’t see much at all.  She had decided to just go with us and we were going to drop her off in Rhode Island.  She was scared to be separated from us and alone.  On the subway ride, we met a girl named Carol.  Carol was also going to Newark and told Jill she would lead her there.  I believe Carol was another angel sent from above to help Jill get to Newark.  Everybody was helping everybody.  It was amazing how all the New Yorkers became so nice and helpful.  Since Jill couldn’t see, she couldn’t drive herself home and Crestone hired ‘Big Al’ to drive her from Newark to Rhode Island.  Jill’s drive with ‘Big Al’ took four hours.  Linda and I headed to the Long Island Railroad where we were supposed to meet Steve. 

 Steve first went to Grand Central Station by mistake and was very late.  We were worried about him.  After Steve realized he was at the wrong place, he then headed for Penn Station.  Linda and I finally asked a worker if he could page Steve to the Long Island Railroad waiting room.  We thought maybe he was waiting somewhere else.  This worker said, “Well it’s pretty hard to have someone paged but he had some pull and would do it for us”. 

 Soon after Steve was paged, he found his way to us.  It was so good to finally see him; we just stood there and hugged.  Steve then accused me of flirting with the doormen at the Delegate apartments.  I asked, “Why do you say that?”   Steve said that he had seen them earlier and they kept asking, “Where was Mrs. Kim”, “Do you know if she’s ok”, “Has anybody heard from Mrs. Kim”.  Steve said they were so worried about me.  I told Steve that I was probably the only one in the whole apartment building that took time out of my day to stop just to say hello. 

 From here we jumped on the Train to Babylon, Long Island.  I was very nervous about being on the train.  I didn’t want to be on any type of public transportation.  I was thinking something could happen to the train.  I was looking at everybody, trying to determine if I thought they were nice or mean.  I was judging everyone, the women, the men (black, white, Hispanic, etc).  I was constantly looking around.  I feel horrible about that now, but at the time, I had major butterflies in my stomach and just wanted off the train as soon as possible.  At one point I thought I was going to be sick.  From the train windows, you could still see the smoke and fire from the World Trade Center.  The smoke was so red and very eerie.  The smoke was so evil.  I remember Steve saying, “I feel like a refugee”.  At this point my legs were hurting pretty bad and my foot (that I had twisted) was swollen.  After a 45 minute ride, we got off the train at Babylon. 

 Another coworker and his wife (Bob and Mary Dore) came to the train station to pick us up.  They were going to take us to the airport to rent the cars.  Our plan was to rent the cars and head out then.  I was thinking the sooner the better.  By the time we got to Long Island, they had closed all the expressways and we were once again trapped.  I have never felt so trapped and helpless in my life.  We stayed at Bob Dore’s house that night.  His wife, Mary, went to the store and bought us necessitates because she knew we had absolutely nothing.  She bought us clothes to sleep in, clothes for the next day, toothbrush, the whole works.  Mary was wonderful.  We also met Rusty, which was their beautiful Golden Retriever.  When we arrived at Bobs’ house, I called Shannon to let him know that we were once again trapped and the new plan was to leave in the morning.  He was waiting for me to let him know which direction we were heading, in order for him to come and meet me. 

 We all stayed up late talking, and consoling each other and Rusty stayed up with us too.  Bob and Mary headed off to bed first.  Linda, Steve and I stayed up and talked.  We talked about what had happened, how we were so lucky to be alive, how God was smiling down on us today, and how God sent several Guardian Angels to look over us today.  Steve finally went to bed around midnight.  Linda and I were scared to go to sleep and didn’t want to be alone so even though there was a couch and a loveseat, we both stayed on the couch together.

 Rusty (the Gold Retriever) must have sensed my fear because he lay by my side the whole night.  Every time I moved Rusty jumped up to see what I was doing and then he would lay back down to go to sleep.  I would pet him on the head and tell him “I’m ok”.  He would have his eyes closed before his head hit the floor.  I believe I slept for a half an hour (if that).  Every sound I heard scared me.  Every siren I heard make me shake.  My butterflies never went away.  I just watched TV all night, still shaken about what had happened.  I then realized this horrible tragedy was real and not a nightmare.  Around 5:00 AM EST a seashell fell off the counter and shattered on the floor.  I almost had a heart attack.  It even woke up Steve.  Linda and I were awake already but it still gave us quite a scare. 

 At 6:00 AM EST we headed out for our long journey home.  I called Shannon to let him know the plan.  We had two cars, Steve was in one car and Linda and I were in another.  We first had to ride the Ferry from Long Island to Connecticut, which took one hour.  We got out of our cars and went to the top of the Ferry.  We chatted the whole time.  It was so cold on top we were shivering.  Linda said, “This is a good cold, at least I know I’m alive”.  Before we got off the Ferry, Steve and I played Pac Man.  I stomped him.  He said, “Next time we’re together, we’ll have a rematch”.  When we were getting off the Ferry I called Mom and Dad to let them know that we were headed home.  Mom started to cry.  I had never in my life heard my mother cry and that broke my heart. 

 From Connecticut we drove to the top of New York, to New Jersey, then to Pennsylvania.  Steve was ahead of us because he was the one with the map.  There were so many roads that were closed and so many detours, it felt as if we had to go around the world.  I thought we would never get home. 

 In Pennsylvania we split from Steve and went on our way.  We stopped on the side of the interstate to say our good-byes.  It was kind of sad and scary to seperate from him.  Linda and I then drove from Pennsylvania to Maryland to West Virginia to Virginia to North Carolina.  We would take turns driving.  We had hardly closed our eyes at all the night before, but our adrenaline was still running strong.  We finally reached Raleigh, North Carolina a little after Midnight.  The trip from Long Island to Raleigh, North Carolina took 19 hours.

 Shannon and Patsy had reserved two rooms at the Hilton in Raleigh.  Linda took me to the Hilton where I finally got to see Shannon.  I can't explain how good it was to see Shannon.  There are no words big enough.  We just hugged for a while and he said, “You finally made it”.  Then I hugged Patsy.  I was so tired, I was pretty much just jabbering.  I don’t believe I was making very much sense. 

 I actually did sleep maybe three hours that night.  I believe it was because Shannon was at my side.  The next day my legs was so sore I could barely stand up straight.  It probably took me three minutes to just stand up straight.  Thursday (September 13) we headed out of Raleigh at 11:00 AM.  This was the first day I started to cry.  Everything started to sink in.  I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

 We traveled from Raleigh, North Carolina to Tennessee to Alabama.  I tried to sleep on the way to Alabama but every time I closed my eyes I either saw the burning towers or the towers collapsing.  I couldn’t keep my eyes closed for 30 seconds.  I couldn’t stop thinking about all those innocent people that died for no reason.  I probably will never stop thinking about them.  I couldn’t stop thinking that we made it out by only 28 minutes. 

 We finally made it home to Killen, Alabama around 10:30 PM.  It felt so good to be home.  Shannon’s coworkers made me a welcome home sign and taped it in the garage wall.  When Shannon raised the garage door, I said, “look at that” and I think I smiled for the first time that day.  I told Shannon, “This is so nice”.  His coworkers are the best!

 I had not had nightmares at this point because I hadn't slept enough to dream.  I was hoping that I could just block it out of my mind and not have any.  However, Thursday night the nightmares began and I still have them today.  

 Today, September 24, 2001, I found out that the first three units of the firefighters that went up in Tower One didn’t come out alive.  The young man I spoke of earlier was one of the first to go up.  This breaks my heart into!  I feel such sadness for his family.  Those were the guys that had smiles on their faces and were consoling us as they went up the stairs to battle the flames of evil.  I feel so bad for the families that lost loved ones and for the families that still haven’t heard.  My heart goes out to them.

             There is not a single day I don’t think about the ones that died, the injured and the survivors.  As of this date there are approximately 6333 people still missing.  This missing count continues to grow.  Some of these people will never be found and I feel so sorry for their families.  Some people will never have closure.  I’m not sure I ever will. 

 There is one amazing thing that happened during this horrible tragedy.  Even though this was the worst attack on America since Pearl Harbor and the Twin Towers were now just piles of rubble that was still burning with flames of evil, on top of that pile of rumble, the American Flag still stood tall and flying in the wind.  I believe that the terrorist thought that this attack would destroy America and our Freedom, but their plan backfired.  America will recover from this, we will fight back, the flag on the Tower, that represents our Freedom still stood tall and America is more united than ever.  No matter how hard the terrorist try, they will never take away our Freedom.



Everything that I lost when Tower One collapsed can be replaced with the exception of one item.  This item meant so much to me.  When I was a little girl, my daddy made me a heart out of pink hard plastic (not sure what it was made out of).  When I was a little girl, it was a necklace.  When I got older, it was a charm that I always had close by.  I even had this heart on my body when I said my wedding vows.  I carried that heart with me in my laptop bag everywhere I went.  I left it behind in the Tower.  This makes me so sad.  When I told daddy, “I lost my heart”.  He said, “Well, that heart helped to keep that Tower standing until you got out.”  I want my heart back!

 I keep asking myself these same questions everyday.  Why did I survive and all those other innocent people die?  What am I supposed to do now?  Why did God send Guardian Angels for me?  What does God have in plan for me?  When am I going to stop being afraid?  When will I stop hurting inside?  When will I stop crying?  When are the nightmares going to end?  When will I be able to sleep without dreaming?  When will I be able to sleep without medication?  When will I be able to return to normal?


-Kim King




Guardian Angels from Heaven


Once I stood in a cloud of confusion,

I couldn’t see, I didn’t understand.

I couldn’t conceive,

What the good LORD had in plan.


Why does HE let some people suffer?

Before HE reaches out HIS golden hand.

Why does our loving hearts have to be broken,

These were things I didn’t understand.


The good LORD has a master plan for each of us,

A master plan that may not be so easily seen.

We may think that our plan is so out of reach,

We may not believe in ourselves, but it is HIM that does believe.


We are all given obstacles in life,

Some obstacles may seem unfair and even mean.

But the good LORD places these obstacles in front of us,

Because HE knows we have the will to achieve.


The good LORD watches over us,

Every single second of time.

We were given the ability to make our on choices,

To define our own path in life.


I don’t know why I was spared on September 11, 2001,

Why I escaped the Tower engulfed with flames of evil.

I don’t understand why all those innocent people had die,

The horrible tragedy is just so inconceivable.


The good LORD sent many Guardian Angels,

To be right by my side.

They were there to keep me calm and strong,

My Guardian Angels were there to be my guide.


I have heard that some people asked, “God where are you now”.

During this horrible tragedy, God was everywhere around us,

HE held the Towers up as long as HE could,

So as many people as possible could get out.


On September 11, 2001, it just wasn’t my time,

The good LORD has another plan for me.

I have to search for my master plan,

Because right now this master plan I do not see.


When it’s my time to spread my wings and shine,

And I see that shinning bright light, I won’t be scared.

I’ll be happy, because I’ll be making my journey home,

And I’ll be reunited with my loved ones that are already there.


Grandmother, Aunt Margie, Granny, Doris, Bobby and the others will all be there,

Waiting to greet me after I walked my final mile.

They will be there waiting for me because I always knew I saw an angel in them,

Every single time they smiled.


It will be an honor to reach out,

And take HIS hand.

So HE can lead me home,

So HE can lead me to the promise land.


-Kim King



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