Recently, I was talking about how less familiar images of a tragedy can have an unexpectedly big impact. On September 14, 2001, Wall Street Journal employee Jared Sandberg went back to his offices at the World Financial Center, across the street from the ruins of the World Trade Center. He took these pictures of the WFC. This building was relatively unscathed; I was still shocked by the amount of debris.
This morning, MSNBC was replaying the NBC news coverage from 2001 in real time. It was very affecting to see how short a time it was between the attacks on the Trade Center buildings and their collapse. The anchors and reporters acquitted themselves well that day. It was a good choice of programming.
Here’s what I wrote on this date last year.
UPDATED 9/11/11 TO ADD: The Wall Street Journal won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news for its coverage of the event. Here is editor John Bussey’s account of being in the World Financial Center offices as the Trade Center towers collapsed.
W: I have occasionally wondered how you managed during 9/11. What a hideous violation of humanity was that experience. Thanks for directing us to your post from last year. So sorry you had to go through something like that.
I was very lucky. I was supposed to be attending a meeting at our company’s offices in the Trade Center (we had space in the Financial Center and the Trade Center, but my office was in the Financial Center), but I’d gotten so sick of meetings there, I figured I’d just call in on the conference phone. So, due to my laziness, I wasn’t walking through the lobby or in an elevator when it all happened. Anyone who was in our company’s actual office space survived. As I recall, that was on the 40th floor or so, below the strike zone and a relatively easy evacuation. Ira Zaslow, who died, was elsewhere in the building.
Laziness runs in the family. I had a meeting scheduled for 9/4/2001 at the NY FBI office downtown. But that was the day after labor day so when I called on the Wednesday before labor day he said let’s make it on September 11th, but call on Wednesday. I was lazy after 4 days at Montauk and didn’t call until Thursday. He was out. My PATH train arrived at WTC at about 9AM and I was on the hill on RT 17 watching the smoke at WTC.
It’s good to be lazy.
the princess says
very striking photographs
petite and dynamite says
My office was downtown, on the 12th floor, — I remember watching it from my office, it looked like a spielberg movie, with him directing, “more smoke, more smoke” – so surreal. Until, from my window I saw people jumping… it looked so unreal.. I said “there must be nets they are jumping into…” then the subway stopped – I ran out of my office – downstairs, the papers and ashes were flying in my face, the dust and dirt in my lungs – I thought, “I have to get my child,” who was uptown in private school, on the upper east side — and there was a car heading north – it stopped at a light – I jumped in – the guy looked at me like I was crazy. He was headed out of the city – to his home – I said I have to get my kid – please give me a ride – he dropped me on Madison and 90th.
By November 2001 – I closed my office downtown and moved it into my apartment, I also moved my daughter to school near home…
today I dropped flowers off at my firehouse, we lost 13 guys that day – the book firehouse is based on our firehouse.. they keep the board up from 9/11/2001 as a reminder…
Deja Pseu says
It was so devastating to watch even from 3000 miles away, I can’t imagine how horrific and terrifying it must have been for those of you actually nearby.
Thanks for sharing that.
Princess Poochie says
My husband and I flew back from NM the day before and my father and step-mother flew out from NYC that morning.
I remember I was driving into work when I heard about the first plane and saw the second one on TV. It was surreal then and I’m sure even more so in person.
I was working at Walt Disney World in the corporate offices at the time and we shut down for one of the very few times in history because we thought the Parks could be a target.
A very horrible and odd day. Petite – your story is amazing.
Thank you all for sharing.
Renaissance Woman says
Those pictures tell the entire story.
Sister Wolf says
My son also worked in the World Financial Center, but on the morning of September 11, I thought he worked in one of the twin towers. I spent a few hours sobbing and trying to make contact with New York.
Finally, the mom of one of his friends called to tell me he was okay.
What a horrible day for the moms who got a diffent kind of phonecall.
June Shin says
I can’t believe it’s been 7 years. I was so close, yet far enough away. It was so surreal, but was brought home when I saw a co-worker’s husband looking for his wife. He had walked from Ground Zero to Chelsea, and was covered in grey dust. Craziness…
thank you for writing this and posting those pictures. I’m so tired of this day being politicized… not that there wasn’t anything ‘political’ that happened, just that it has become an excuse for speeches and rhetoric.
Anna Pope says
Thoughts of that day still make my heart clench. Those photographs are unbelievable.
Wendy, met a woman in Paris over lunch who told me when she saw the first coverage she thought she was looking at an ad for a new horror film from America…Coverage of the 7th anniversary from Europe was thorough and poignant.
I apologize for coming late to this party.
Those photos are very moving. Thanks for posting them. I never saw anything of the INSIDES of buildings. Only the outsides. Until today.
I can’t believe it’s been 7 years. I remember watching it as it happened on the Today show, then going to first day of school.
They let us out early. No one was sure what was going on and we were downtown near the tallest buildings. So they let us go.
9/11 is our generation’s “Where were you?” day. I hate reliving this every year…but I guess it’s necessary. My husband’s birthday is 9/14…The Day of Mourning.