We had left NY for a vacation in Florida where we intended to purchase a new home for an ultimate move expected about two years down the line. The
closing on the house was scheduled for 9/10, and 90% of our possesions that were in storage at the time in NY were scheduled to be delivered to the
house in Florida at 8:30AM.
We left the home of our friends behind on their lanai watching the news and having coffee (formally from NY) who we were staying with, to meet the
movers about 8:20AM. The first thing off the truck was the washer and dryer and there was a question about the removal of the cap on the washer line
to hook up the machine so I placed call to the builder who said he would be right over, and by the way, did I know what was going on in NY? The first
plane had hit. I walked out to my husband and the movers (from NY) and burst into tears telling them NY was under attack.
We had no radio or TV but the movers had a generator and said they could run their radio. As we were all from NY we sat glued to it. I remember
hearing the report of the plane in PA that was off course and that there were military planes headed for it. I remember blurting out, oh my god, they
have to shoot it down. A few minutes later the station we ere listening to reported they had, but of course that was the only time I heard that and
the official story afterwards said nothing of the sort.
Somehow I was able to reach my sisters office in mid-town immediately (she had a regularly scheduled "team meeting" at the Trade Center Tuesday
mornings. Her assistant answered and I just said I was one of the sisters, where was she. Luckiliy she was out of town on a conference. I next called
my Westchester office to find out who from our mid-town office was accounted for. The girl scheduled to be there for a 9AM appointment had overslept,
called the client to postpone till 10, and they were safe. One girl was just outside when the first plane hit and was physically unharmed, though she
was covered with debris and blood and had to walk out of the city that day. There were severe emotional scars but she was alive. There were others.
Somehow, everyone I knew was safe, (I thought) some for the most bizarre reasons.
Unfortunately, we were now unable to get home as Delta had pulled out of Daytona (though they were denying it) due to being grounded beacuase the one
daily direct flights each way (involved two planes, one in Newark and one in Daytona) having been discovered to have some sort of Presidential death
threat in the wheel well. This was the one in Daytona.
It took two weeks of daily cancellations trying to get back with Delta still denying they were grounded and pulling out of Dayona till I finally said,
can't you just put us on a flight out of Jacksonville? By then we had been sitting in a house for two weeks just watching and feeling helpless. By
then my husband had found a job down here and by the time we got back he gave two weeks notice. It took me another two months to get down here since I
couldn't just walk out of my job that quickly.
Anyway, we were calling home to check on things (there were 3 NYC Firefighters living on my street in a suburb one hour north of the City). One was
out of Town, one was out on temp disability, but one was off duty and reported immediately to ground zero that morning. Three days later his fiance
started calling the neighbors to see if we had seen or heard from him. We knew then we never would. He was one of the ones that were never found.
The one thing I have to say is that our rental car in Florida was through Hertz on a special really discounted rate. The day our flight cancelled I
called thinking what are we going to do? We are stuck here and need the car still, but it's probably booked already for someone else with everyone
trying to get home. I was told no, keep the car as long as you need at the same rate and return it anywhere in the Country in case you end up having
to drive out of Florida to get home, even driving all the way to NY if we wanted.
I heard horror stories from people in similar situations with
other rental agencies and I have to say they are my only rental car source from here on in.
Personally, I still find this very hard to deal with. I cannot watch any of the specials that just keep coming back every year. I do still have my
last security ID card for my last business meeting there, but I don't look at it anymore.