Crystal skies and black smoke. 

Date Submitted: 9/17/2016
Author Info: Chris (Kingsport, TN - USA) 
Occupation: Accounting/Finance 
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: Yes 
Knew someone who perished?: Yes 

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My names Chris. I was born in the small town of Kingsport Tennessee. I had worked for finance companies for about 5 years. One day I decided that I was going to move from my town. I packed and left to New York City on Febuary 20th 2001. I got a small job at a McDonald's for about a month. I met a guy there who came in to order a meal. He worked in the north tower. I asked him about what he did and what it was like up there. He worked for MetLife on the 84th floor. I told him that I'd worked for some finance places like wellmont (a finance and accounting group in Kingsport.) When he heard that he decided to tell me that there were some spots open at MetLife in the tower and asked me if I were interested. I said yes to him and he said he'd talk to the manager that watched over the tower offices. Flash forward to September. I got a job there. The man and I became friends and we had cubicals just near each other. On the morning of September 11th I was sitting in my chair working on various things, when suddenly what felt like an earthquake shattered the office. I heard people scream and I got up and looked out the window. Above me there was a bright orange light and papers flying down. I got my friend and we called the emergency center in the tower. They told us to leave immediately so we did. We started down the stairs. It was becoming quite hot as we dashed towards the elevators, which did not work. we ran down the stairway as many people followed. When we were on about the 40th floor, we felt the ground shake again and a loud boom was heard. This was at 9:03 and I later learned that it was the south tower being hit. We made it out of the tower at about 9:40 am. We looked up and were shocked. My friend decided to help people that were in need as I went on. He walked into the lobby of tower one, the offices we'd worked in for months. I never saw him again. I ran down towards Central Park and once I got a safe distance I turned. As soon as I turned I saw the south tower collapse. I knew my friend was injured if not dead. I ran again. I decided a few minutes later to stop and watch with some other people. I watched my tower burn. Then soon after, I watched the offices of spent so many months in, and woke up every morning eager to see the view from the Windows, fall. I saw the hole buckle, and the tower shatter. I knew he was dead now. My heart broke. The city filled with a large cloud of dust. It was a nightmare I had barley escaped the clutches of death. Afterwards, I went to my apartment and grieved. My mother had called the office many times and when I didn't answer as I was evacuating she was frantic. I waited for the airports to allow planes to fly again then I went home. That's when I learned that the pentagon had been attacked and the Pennsylvania field incident had taken place. It was heartbreaking. Today I still live in Tennessee. I went back to New York once to visit the memorial. I found my friends name on the plaque. Out of respect I won't disclose it, but it gave me some peace. All in all, the one thing I'll never forget is seeing the crystal blue sky being taken by the black smoke. 

 

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Those who die innocent deaths never really die. They are everywhere; we just don't see them in quite the same way. And the culmination of what they were and what their death meant is as prevalent and tangible as the warmth in your soul and the sorrow in your heart.

Imran (story excerpt)
12/17/01

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