Not everyone can remember what they had for breakfast just 24 hours ago, but everyone remembers what they were doing and where they were at when our country was under attacked on 9-11-2001. Considering it was September, it sure felt more like July…Hot and Sunny…..not a cloud in the sky. You can say it was a perfect summer day.
I was on my desktop computer when I got a phone call from my wife at work asking me if I was watching the news. She had told me that a small plane had crashed into the World Trade Center and that it was on fire. I went downstairs and turned on CNN and sure enough, smoke was coming from the top of one of the towers.
Just like many others watching the breaking news on all the networks, I too believed it was a small plane and that the pilot might have lost control and crashed into the North Tower. So, I just watched for a few minutes and decided to call my command and asked if they needed me to come in considering that my tour didn’t start till that afternoon.
There wasn’t any sense of urgency from my dispatcher and she informed me that enough units were on the scene as well as F.D.N.Y and N.Y.P.D. But to be on the safe side to just keep my phone line open just incase. So I just hung up and sat in the living room and watched like everyone else was with speculations.
I didn’t really put much thought into it other than feeling bad for anyone that was in that plane and the people below that might have gotten hurt from falling debris from the plane. My brother Timmy had just called me and asked if I was watching what was being shown when something caught my attention on the left of my screen when I saw a commercial jet crash into the South Tower followed by an intense fireball.
I remember yelling “Oh Shit” at least three times asking my brother if he had he seen what just happened also. He was also yelling on the other end of the line at the same time that we were under attack. For a moment, I couldn’t think of anything other than witnessing that commercial airliner exploding inside the Twin Tower.
As I was agreeing with my brother just as my door bell rang..it was my neighbor Ralph, and from the look in his eyes, he was shocked what he just saw just like the rest of us. Something wasn’t right, but we did agree on one thing…We were under attack, just didn’t know by who and for what reason.
That’s when all first responders from the City of New York…Police, Firemen, EMS were all ordered to report to our respected commands immediately. I remember calling my command and was told by my dispatcher to report to my Sargent on Duty for instructions as soon as I can get there.I wasted no time.
I packed up some clothes, shoved them in my duffel bag and called my wife to let her know that I was leaving and that I may be up there for a few days. I remember her telling me to be careful while telling me how much she loves me. She also reminded me to call her as much as I can to let her know that I was alright.
I then jumped in my Ford Expedition known as the Green Monster, and headed to the gas station to fill up. I also had to stop by my local police station to borrow a flame ball ( police jargon for that emergency red light we put on the roof of our vehicles) so other motorist can see that I was responding to an emergency.
As I was driving, my cell phone rang and it was a fellow officer and friend asking had I left already knowing how far I lived. He was coming from Brooklyn which was only less than a half hour to Jersey City. I remember telling him that I was driving like 90 miles and hour and I should meet him in about an hour at our command. My last words before I hung up was …. On My Way Brother.