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Westporter Remembers Walking, Covered With Ash

Ten years ago, Westport resident Elizabeth Juviler worked in New York City. After the attacks on the World Trade Center, she was stuck in the city for three days. The following is her recollection of Sept. 11, 2001:

I worked in a building that was attached to Grand Central Terminal. Good for the commute, but not for bomb threats. I was already working when the planes hit the World Trade Center. My boss, who lived in the area, called me immediately as he was watching it all from his window. He recalled seeing and hearing the people jump.

At this time, we knew we were not leaving since Manhattan was in lockdown. We called hotels to try and find rooms, but everything was already booked.

At 10 a.m., there was a series of bomb threats to Grand Central Terminal and we were quickly evacuated into the streets with no place to go. The smoke immediately started to float uptown and within two hours, so did the ash. It looked like the mushroom cloud we used to see on television when we were children.

For hours, we wandered around trying to figure out what to do and how to get home. With the cell towers destroyed, there was no cell service. I couldn't call my daughter's daycare to make sure she was all right or let anyone know where I was.

I spent the day with a co-worker, both of us trying to find our way home to New Jersey. We lived on the other side of the Lincoln Tunnel and walked to every entrance leading to the tunnels. At 8 p.m. with no luck and powered by fear of sleeping in a park, we walked to a friend's house in Brooklyn. We cried the whole way. When we arrived, we were covered in white ash.

The next day we took to the streets again to find a way home as Army tanks passed while we walked. After three days, dozens of miles walked and a several train rides, I made it home.

I moved out of New Jersey a month later to a place that was a walkable distance from the city?as walkable as possible for a commute. Never again was I going to be stranded by fear.

Where were you on Sept. 11, 2001? What are your memories of that day? Please share with us below.

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