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September 11, 2001 began as a glorious day in New York – crystal clear, with the crisp cool air of early autumn. I had just dropped off my two youngest children at school and was on a bus on my way to lower Manhattan.
As I looked out the window, I saw black smoke billowing from one of the Twin Towers. Within a few minutes I saw the second plane hit the other tower. I knew then this was no random accident of pilots getting off course and hitting the tallest buildings in the city. We were under attack.
My initial reaction, like so many New Yorkers, was to find my family. I tried calling their schools but cell phones weren’t working. The same thing happened when I called my husband’s office near Grand Central Terminal.
When I finally found a phone booth, there were long lines. I was quicker on foot and started walking back uptown.
Stores and offices were being evacuated, for fear of bombs. Mayor Rudy Giuliani was closing Manhattan’s tunnels and bridges and streets were shutting down to