September 20, 2001
Monica Triozzi, New Jersey

Where to start . . . I was sitting at Roys Restaurant in The Marriot Hotel -- 300 feet from the WTC. Three colleagues and myself were having a typical breakfast when suddenly we hear a crash and from the window and see debris shooting all over the place. We, of course, jump up and run outside thinking a truck crashed on the street. But to my horror I look up and see the WTC in flames !!!

We try to run through the hotel, only to be blocked by interior construction, so we run into the florist on the corner which, of course, is all glass. We panic and run back out to the street and run up to the American Stock Exchange, our safe refuge? Well that too was our mistake because a few minutes later plane two hits the WTC and rocked our building and of course panic sets in on the trading floor. People are crying, screaming and running in all directions, and now we are stuck in this building in the shadow of the WTC. Where do we go from here?

After the first tower went down we all tried to leave the AMex but couldn't get out. We finally found an exit and ran out the door on Greenwich St. Just as the cloud of smoke and debris was headed our way, we dumped water on our jackets and began to run for our lives. All over the street were shoes, shoes and more shoes and some luggage I guess from the planes. It was horrible. We ran down Greenwich towards Battery Park and the cops just kept yelling to run towards the water and don't look back!

We ran toward the FDR, hopped over the divider, got to the ferry dock @ pier 11, and waited for a boat to get the hell out of there. At first I wouldn't leave because I didn't know where my husband Michael was. I finally got a call from my sister who told me he was in the NYSE basement and couldn't leave because of a bomb threat. False alarm, thankfully. This was a horror I hope that no one else ever has to witness. I myself am not sure if I can go back to work in that area. I know that I am moving out of my Battery Park City apartment as soon as I can, and hopefully will be able to get my car out of the garage.