8:30AM: I was on the 28th Floor in a windowless office in the World Trade Center complex. We clicked away on our computers. My supervisor entered and said, plainly, "A plane hit one of the buildings." I imagined a little plane.
"Did you see it happen?" we asked.
"No." No alarm. We went back to work. Then I heard a thump as if someone on the floor above dropped something heavy. A co-worker answered her phone. She said, "Another plane hit the building."
A young man in the hall screamed, "Everybody get out!"
We picked up our stuff and calmly left. Someone held the elevator and we waited for more people.
"Two accidents?" I said.
"That wasn't an accident," someone replied.
The escalators and street were packed as we exited.
Someone said, "Did you see that guy jump?" That's when I became afraid. I looked up. Whatever was falling I did not want to see. I turned and walked away.
My cell phone didn't work, nor pay phones. I found a working subway. The first building already collapsed when I got home. I cried as the second building fell.
Many of my co-workers walked for hours home. I know one person who lost her life that morning. She was young, professional and sweet. I remember her today, the young man who yelled, the person who held the elevator, the love of New Yorkers and the world.
Jimmy Flannery is a Johns Island resident.