Eyewitness to History
When her nephew asked her to write about an important historical event, BridgeMill's Georgette Thaler didn't have to think long and hard.
BridgeMill's Georgette Thaler, 62, was in New York City the morning of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
She was the vice president of new business development for a multinational market research company and had coordinated a business meeting on 42nd Street, between Park Avenue South and Lexington Avenue.
While much of the world watched the horror of that day on their televisions, Thaler saw it with her own eyes.
Years later, her nephew asked her to write about a significant day in history. This is what spilled onto the page:
"September 11,2001—I was on the train going to a meeting in New York City. All of a sudden there were people on cell phones and looking out the windows towards the Trade Center. There was lots of confusion and the tragedy was still unfolding. We were the last train allowed into Grand Central station. It was very eerie ... as we left the train station for our meeting which was across the street. As we got to the street, straight in front of us we could see huge plumes of smoke coming from the tip of Manhattan. We went to our meeting but suggested that we not continue the meeting since there seemed to be such horror going on around us. We started the meeting, and when word was sent that one of the Towers collapsed, then the meeting was stopped and we were asked to vacate the building. Outside on the street people seemed calm or stunned. We had no phone service. The President of our company had parked his car on the West Side of town so we walked to the parking garage among the many stunned pedestrians and I called my sister to tell her I was okay. Only cars leaving the City were allowed to get on the highway. It was the first time I could relate to how the refugees in many cities around the world felt because we were literally fleeing for safety. Police and sirens were everywhere. The police were redirecting traffic and were not allowing any traffic to come into the city. I think we were all in shock as what was only part of what was unfolding seemed so surreal, and it was beyond comprehension the full scope of what was happening. It took many days to get over what was going on—and everyone I know was affected by these events and knew people who were at the towers or who were killed. In my town, people were going to sit on the beach and were praying and reflecting on the day's terrible events—some of us sought each other out for comfort by taking our dog's to the dog park, just to be around other people. This happened every day, and every day for weeks, there were people at the dog park who had loved ones searching for their husbands, wives or friends."
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