Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, is a very vivid memory for me. It was a beautiful, perfect, sunny morning.
As I was leaving for the office out of town, my mom and I heard and saw an airliner flying slowly, at low altitude, and turning around over our backyard. It was strange and I feared it was a plane in trouble. It has been documented that the first hijacked plane flew over Amsterdam at that time.
As I reached my destination, I heard on the radio of the first tower disaster. At that time, no one knew it was a terrorist attack. My mom, having heard the same on the radio at home, immediately called my brother. He and my sister-in-law both worked in the financial district, only a short distance from the World Trade Center. She was able to speak briefly to him.
Of course, no one really knew what was happening. The events of that day kept evolving. I had colleagues on business travel near the Pentagon and others in Pennsylvania not far from the scene of that attack.
We had no further contact with my brother or sister-in-law. I kept trying to get through but phone lines were down. I returned home and Mom and I were glued to the TV, worried and concerned for our loved ones … praying they were safe and could somehow reach us.
Around midnight, our phone rang. It was my brother and sister-in-law. They were safe and each had made their way home separately by foot, about 10 miles away from the World Trade Center.
It was a very emotional call, not many words were spoken. We thanked God for keeping them safe.
Phone lines remained down most of the week and we could not make another connection for at least four days.
My family and my colleagues were all safe. We prayed for all who were not and for their families.
God bless America.
-Christine Andrzejewski, Amsterdam
More Remembrances: We remember; The Daily Gazette’s special Sept. 11 anniversary section