Last Thursday, our country mourned the death of over 3,000 civilians that died in the attacks on 9/11. Those who were present at the time of the attack haven’t forgotten.
Shankar Viswanathan, a relative of mine, lived in New Jersey was used to the commute to and from New York every day. Viswanathan took the train from New Jersey to the North Tower every day.
“On Sept. 11, on the way to the tower, the train stopped. No one knew what was happening. After a few minutes, they announced that something had happened to the World Trade number one Tower and that the train would not be stopping there,” Viswanathan said.
According to Viswanathan, no one on the train had been informed of the disaster occurring on Wall Street.
“I got to the World Trade stop and got out of the train to go to work and I saw a lot of people running away from the World Trade Center. So I started going towards the World Trade Center to see what happened. I was about a block away, and that’s when I saw it,” Viswanathan said.
By the time he had arrived at the scene, both planes had already hit their target. Viswanathan was about block away from the North Tower when it began to crumble.
“I was staring at the tower, and after about 5 minutes, the whole tower came down. We were all running” Viswanathan said.
He began making his way back to the trains and after about a 30 minute walk, managed to make his way to the downtown station. There were no trains going to New Jersey at the time, so Viswanathan took a train to the George Washington Bridge.
“Once I got there, I borrowed a Blackberry phone and wrote an email to my wife. She and the rest of my family had no idea about my whereabouts,” Viswanathan said.
Viswanathan’s wife was home in New Jersey and was expecting their first child at the time. A healthy baby girl was born just two days after the collapse of the Twin Towers.
“My most vivid memory of the whole event is the Towers coming down,” Viswanathan said, “It’s something that I will never forget.”