Charlie Caraher was on the 68th floor of the World Trade Center, when the first tower was struck on that Tuesday morning. The article recounts the events of his timely escape, 13 minutes before the tower he was in collapsed. Just before the 10th anniversary in 2011, Caraher decided it was time for him to move out after years of putting up with New York's mistreatment of survivors from the attacks. He was computer programmer at Morgan Stanley in 2001 and is now a registered nurse in a suburb outside of Tampa.
The memories from that dark day remain fresh in Caraher's memory, which has led to nightmares years after the attacks. Being from New York, I can also remember the events that transpired that day that shook the United States. I was only a third-grade student, but watching some of my fellow classmates being picked up early from school by their parents was out of the ordinary.
My mother picked me up from school around 1 p.m. that day and along with most people around the country that day, confusion was in the air. When I got into the car, the radio was playing and my mom was upset. I still didn't understand what was going on until she explained that there was an attack in Manhattan and she had not heard from my father at work in the city.
The Twin Towers were located about three miles from my dad's jewelry store on Bowery street. From what he has told me over the last few years, people were out on the street wondering what was going on. When they realized that the situation was not safe, they decided to head home for safety. The only problem was the only way home that day was to walk from lower Manhattan to Queens, which involved crossing the Williamsburg Bridge. My father arrived home in the late afternoon and I can remember that his main objective was not not have me watch too much of the news coverage on the television. He turned his back on the scene of the second tower collapsing as he crossed the bridge and could not handle much more.
Caraher's pain is felt by me as several members of my community and friends' relatives were killed on that disastrous day. My freshman year at Marquette University marked the first year in which I was away from New York for the anniversary of the attacks. I attended the screening of "Project: Rebirth," a film that tracked the lives of people for ten years coping with the anguish brought upon on 9/11. The film was the closest thing I had to experiencing that day again and honoring those lost.
The attacks on September 11th, 2001. The Assassination of John F. Kennedy. Apollo 11. These are just some of the moments that people always remember where they were when they happened. History is always in the making, but it will always be tough to forget where you were, when one of those monumental events happened 14 miles from your backyard. Never forget and God bless America.