Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

September 11, 2001

In Guest stories on September 13, 2012 at 7:32 pm

I was sitting outside, reading The New York Times that Tuesday morning. Between reading a few sentences, I glanced up from the newspaper and watched people hurry by. There seemed to be nothing special to see that morning. The weather was exquisite. The sky was deep blue, the air clean and fresh. The day before, I had had an important meeting at the World Trade Center complex. Because it had gone well, I now had a sense of peace and calm. Cars, taxis, buses, and trucks passed me on the busy thoroughfare while I sat and read the newspaper. I had grown accustomed to the noise. People continued to pass by as I continued to read the paper.  Many were going to work. Others walked their children to school. A jogger ran by.

All of a sudden, I heard a loud roar coming from above, like thunder. The noise grew louder by the second. It was deafening, like the sound of jet engines. Something here was amiss. The only other time I had heard a similar sound was during Fleet Week, when the military was in town. The sound was very loud, a deafening roar. I looked up, and caught a glimpse of a jumbo jet flying overhead. It was flying unusually low, just above the tops of the buildings. I clearly saw the jet, its cabin windows, its two large engines giving off the deafening sound.  The jet appeared to be flying the length of Manhattan, due south. It was swaying back and forth, as if it were experiencing trouble. It was flying erratically. A woman who was walking by was having difficulty holding back tears. “Someone with personal problems,” I thought. Then another woman followed, also in tears. I put aside my newspaper and began to watch intently.

Several people were crying openly. Most unusual. The jet had flown over my head a few minutes before, but I had dismissed any notion of a connection between the plane and tears. Finally out of curiosity I stood up and approached one of the women. I asked politely whether something had just happened. I suspected a vehicular accident. I was wrong. The accident was much more severe. “A plane smashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center,” she said. I took several steps into the street, turned my head and saw the large gaping hole in the building. Then I flashed back to the jumbo jet that had just flown by.

Ted Sikorski

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