Over the past few years I’ve written stories about 9/11 and its impact, especially on those of us who lost friends, neighbors, and people we knew. With the 10th anniversary of the attacks this Sunday I’m re-running one of my stories written about that day (part of the collection: THINGS WE LOST ON TUESDAY ).
Hardly a day passes that I don’t think about that day, friends who are no longer here, and what so many have sacrificed and lost since then.
It looked like snow falling from the buildings but in reality it was raining flesh; the streets were covered in it as Fire Fighter Michael Stone rushed into the South Tower and headed up the B stairs with five others from Ladder 10/Engine 10. Over his handie-walkie radio Stone could hear “MAYDAY’S” as they joined other fire fighters and climbed the stairs, pushing past single file lines of evacuees streaming down from the lower floors. Everyone was reasonably calm considering the chaos inside the building although Stone was scared about what he would be facing – when he had entered the Tower it looked like at least fifteen floors were burning and he had never seen a fire that big; Stone didn’t know how they would ever get it under control. Around the twenty-first floor they came upon a pregnant woman taking the stairs one step at a time and one of the Lieutenants from Engine 21 told Stone to get her down while the rest of Ladder 10 kept going up. Stone had the woman wrap her arms around his neck so it was easier to carry her; there was a mixture of fear and panic in her face and he gently reassured her that everything would be okay. He thought of his own wife, due with their first child in a few weeks, and wished he had called her before entering the building to let her know everything was alright so she wouldn’t worry.