.

Changed by 9/11: Michael Janin

Long Beach resident recalls being in the midst of the terrorist attacks.

On September 11, 2001, I was at a meeting in the fifteenth story of an office building four blocks from the World Trade Center. During the meeting I glanced out the window and I thought I saw garbage blowing in the air. 

The TV in the meeting was turned on, and I went to another room to call my wife, and I saw the second plane hit the other tower. I went to my car in the basement, drove away and immediately got stuck in a major traffic jam on Water Street. I turned on the radio and heard a reporter scream, “Oh my God, its going down!” I looked to my left and saw the first building collapse. It was surreal and I panicked.

Amazingly, a cop appeared and actually untangled the traffic jam. I drove out of the intersection, headed for the Brooklyn Bridge and was one of the only cars to go over it. I picked up another person and people walked and ran alongside of us on the bridge. I stopped at the top of the bridge, got out and looked at the burning building. I was numb looking directly at something I could not process. As I watched, the second tower fell. I got back in my car, noticed the person I picked up had disappeared and I drove to Great Neck, where I lived then.  It took me more than three hours to go through Brooklyn and Queens.

That day, I lost a second cousin. For five years after that day, I never went even near that area.

Ten years later, I still remember that day very well. I don’t think it substantially changed in my politics or my personality. I moved to Long Beach in April 2002. I have buried the part I don't want to remember and that is where I want it to be. On Sept. 11, I will not watch TV, nor will I participate in anything related to 9/11. It is enough for me to remember, but I just don’t want to relive that day. I have moved on and I’m OK.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something