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Thursday
Sep112008

nine eleven


My old office had a lovely view of the Empire State Building, and behind it the twin towers. I used to climb out my window onto a little balcony and take pictures of the city with my polaroid camera. I loved seeing how the sky changed during the day and how the light reflected off the other buildings.  I felt lucky to have such a wonderful view.

A few weeks after I took this polaroid, I climbed out onto the balcony again. Smoke was billowing out the towers. I got a call out to my mom in California to tell her I was okay. While we were talking, I watched the first tower crumble and fall. I said "Mom, the tower... it's gone." And she said "No, no.. I'm watching the news right now and it's standing."   "No mom, it's gone."  I had seen it fall with my own eyes. 

I wish I had had the foresight to grab my polaroid camera and snap one more photo with the towers standing. Even as it was happening, I never believed they would actually come down.

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Reader Comments (15)

Wow. That photo is haunting.

09.11.2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlisa

so heartbreaking.

09.11.2008 | Unregistered Commenterlynne

Wow, what a striking story. Seeing it while others were on a news delay...relaying that message to a family member. So heartbreaking. I really appreciate you sharing this moment with us.

09.11.2008 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

me too. disbelief, even 7 years later.

09.11.2008 | Unregistered Commenterbetsy's girl

I swear I should have heard that story before, but I can't believe you watched them fall down Brooke, wow.

09.11.2008 | Unregistered Commenterscout

Such a sad day today. Love your Polaroid.

You have a lovely little blog... indeed!

09.11.2008 | Unregistered CommenterSasha

me too. i have the just before photos, i lived on carmine and 7th ave, looked straight out my window at the towers....and on september 11th, i stood on the roof and photographed them coming down. surreal, to say the least.

09.11.2008 | Unregistered Commentermolly

My brother stood below it as the first tower fell, then he ran for his life. For him, as a New Yorker, and I think for you too, this day holds something entirely different. Thank you for sharing.

09.12.2008 | Unregistered CommenterSamantha

touching post...the photo is excellent esp with the date stamp

09.12.2008 | Unregistered Commentermark

It's unbelievable that it's already been seven years. My grocery in NJ had a candle and a flag and some flowers outside to commemorate the day. When I hastily glanced at it, I began to cry. I did manage to tell the store manager that I appreciated the store's commemoration.

The one good thing that resulted for me seven years ago was to meet our mutual friend, Rebecca. Seven years later, she continues to be a bright spot in my life that otherwise would have been empty.

09.12.2008 | Unregistered CommenterSteph D

wow, what an experience to have as a memory of that day. thanks for sharing.

09.12.2008 | Unregistered Commenterbrooke

Still brings tears to my eyes. I was so relieved to hear that you were safe but to go through the falling of the second tower with you, unbelievable. A day we will all remember.You're a strong young woman and I was and am very proud of you.

09.12.2008 | Unregistered CommenterMom

it still feels like it just happened and i continue to look for the towers when i look south. thanks for sharing.

09.13.2008 | Unregistered Commentercindy k

It was so surreal to watch the events of that day unfold on television, I still can't truly imagine watching it happen in person. Thank you for sharing this image and memory, so beautifully and poignantly written.

09.20.2008 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney

I was teaching HS in a north facing room on 14th street. When reports (via the kids listening to radios on their walkmans) of the tower falling started coming in, no one could believe. I said, "wait a moment," called an aide to watch my kids, and ran to the south facing window, saw the one tower gone, had my little breakdown, washed my face, then went back to my class and told them what had happened.

09.29.2008 | Unregistered Commenterrowena

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