In October 1985, we moved to New York City and I got a job with Dean Witter Reynolds at the World Trade Center. The years I worked there I worked in both towers, on the 59th floor of one and 72nd floor of the other.
In February 1993, I experienced the first bombing of the World Trade Center by Islamic extremists.
Thousands of us escaped by walking down dark, smoke-filled stairwells for over two hours. We met the firemen in full regalia coming up the stairs. As we emerged into snow and cold the TV cameras captured our soot-covered faces. Six people died that day. It took six to eight weeks to clean the buildings and several months to repair and rebuild.
In 1994, we returned to the Northwest, which is my birthplace.
The morning of 9/11, I was preparing for work when my husband called me to look at the TV. I became hysterical as I saw the World Trade Center buildings come down. I never got to work that day.
I had so many friends still working there, and it seemed likely that they had no time to escape. Watching the events unfold, we had no time frame as to when the buildings were hit and when they fell, so I imagined everyone dead or injured.
About 3:30 p.m., eastern time, I was able to get a call through to the husband of a dear friend that I had worked with, and he told me she had gotten out and was on her way home. The tears flowed again.
When she got home she called me and told me her story of escape. We cried together. Almost all Dean Witter personnel were able to get away from the area alive.
I am so thankful for them being saved and yet so grieved for the loss of so many others.
Three years later I returned to Ground Zero and wept again, my heart broken at the loss. I have so many memories of the World Trade Center and the people I worked with. Even though so many lives were lost and those giant buildings are gone, I still have my memories of my nine years at the World Trade Center.