9/11 Stories

Ileana Negron

I was with my brother on the Staten Island Ferry on the morning of September 11, 2001.

We had just missed the 8:30 boat and we ended up taking the 8:45. We were talking just as we always do and at around 9:02, we made our way to the front of the boat. People were talking and pointing toward the Twin Towers. A plane had crashed into the World Trade Center, my first reaction was disbelief, then grief set in.

I turned to my brother and said that I felt for all the people that are in there. We all assumed it was an accident, that theory changed quickly. A second plane swooped just above the ferry at 9:06; we were less than a quarter mile of docking. I pointed and said “There goes a second plane!”

We could read the print on the bottom of the plane clearly; that’s how low it was. Every watch as the plane swooped and crashed into the second tower. Our mouths drop, hands slapped foreheads in disbelief and gasps of horror filled the front of the ferry. Everything was silent for a half a minute. We all new it was a terrorist attack.

I was shocked, we all were. Then I look around, I saw horror in everyone's eyes. Woman started screaming and crying and grown men cried without shame.

Coast Guards had pulled out and surrounded the south port of Manhattan. The ferry halted and began to turn around and came back up to the left side of Governors Island.

Me and my brother scrambled to the back of the boat while exchanging questions? How can anybody be so cruel, so heartless? How can anybody conceive so much hate? What will happen next? All those poor people, dead. Oh my god.

We stood with others and just stared as ugly reality began to sink in. The debris reach the other side of Governors Island. My hands and body began to tremble and moments later my brother was hugging me and we both wept.

We cried for the people
We cried for the city
We cried for hate
We cried for humanity

God save us all

After that they began an immediate evacuation, they asked us to go the the bottom floor of the ferry and let us out into the street, by then I was panicked, confused and wanted to get the hell off the boat. I told my brother I had to call work, but the lines for the phones were long with panicked employees that were denied access into the city.

Finally, after my midtown office received a hysterical phone call from me, they immediately began evacuating the offices. Me and my brother couldn’t believe it. It was like a movie, unreal…..it couldn’t be, but it is.

We began our walk home. Transportation was overloaded and the traffic was overwhelmed with emergency vehicles racing down Bay Street to make their way to be transported via ferry to Manhattan.

I was still crying as we walked we watch as people with camera and video’s stood and taped history. I cried even harder when I found out the Pentagon had been hit. I watched as the towers tumbled and knew it was over for thousands. Unbelievable, mass murder.

My condolences go out to families and friend of all those poor soul who are missing in this tragedy. I pray for all of us.

God Bless America.

Ileana Negron