Vickie Martino

I remember it was a beautiful day & the sky was clear. There was a hint of fall in the air. Then a co-worker said a plane had crashed into the WTC. No one thought about a terrorist attack. No one thought of the 1991 WTC attack. No one realized how the lives of so many in the NY/NJ/CT area would be changed. And the rest of the country & the world.

Many of us crowded into our boss' office to watch his tv. He was in our NYC office that day. Not much work was done that day. We all saw the 2nd plane hit. I was numb with horror. I knew people that worked there. And my company did record storage for many companies in those towers. Cantor Fitzgerald was one of them. People we had contact with on a daily basis died that day. I wondered about the people I knew personally. My good friend Mary, my cousin Joe & his wife, a cousins son Scott, a cousin's husband Tommy(a NYC fireman), & people I rode the LIRR with everyday until I left my NYC job, Janet, John & Arty. We watched both of the towers collapse. The city went into lockdown mode. No one in or out. Many of our trucks & drivers were there & couldn't get back to Long Island. Some were across the bridges in NJ & couldn't get back.

Mary died that day, as did Tommy & Arty.

Arty was always joking with me about the job he had as an electrician..that while we both might be on the 6:01am into NYC he would be on the 3:15pm home because he was a union man & I would be on the 5:25pm because I was an office worker. Funny man, who loved to play golf with his sons. Tommy left a wife & 2 young children..no one of his ladder company survived, and my good friend Mary didn't either. As we learned about the Pentagon being attacked a few speculated it was an act by an unnamed government & we waited for Pres. Bush to declare we were at war.

Mary's partner called me at work & we speculated about why M's phone wasn't being answered. But by Tuesday night we realized the horrible truth. Mary & almost 3,000 other people weren't coming home that night.

The wait that night was terrible but the days & weeks that followed as we waited for a positive identification was longer and more painful than could be imagined.

There were so many people that did survive..so many did escape. But it's the one's that didn't come home from work that day that will always be remembered.

My cousin & his wife missed their normal train ride because their 8 yr old son missed the school bus & they arrived at Penn Station after the 1st plane hit & found the subway wasn't running..John & Janet told stories of going down darkened stairwells & Scott will tell stories about forever being haunted by hearing & watching people jumping out of those towers rather than burn alive.

Our lives changed that day in so many ways. But as the anniversary of 9/11 approaches every year I don't sleep well. I wonder about all of the people that died that day.

I especially think about Mary a friend of almost 30 years. We are left with our memories of where we were & what we were doing that day.