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Remembering 9/11: Reggie Stockton

Oklahoman Published: September 11, 2011
eryone was covered in the white dust. Eerie indeed. By this time, people were panicking, crying, screaming. Unbelief of what we just witnessed. Knowing that people had to be in the Towers.

Management said we needed to evacuate, so we all grabbed our essentials and headed to the lobby. Downstairs, we could see that the dust had not fully settled. So we decided to wait before heading out. It wasn't long before the other Tower fell and another cloud of dust came rolling down. That pretty much pushed everyone over the edge.

We waited about 30 minutes then headed out. By now, all the subways were closed down. There was no traffic running. We couldn't get a cell signal. All we had were our feet. So 3 of us set out walking. One co-worker was staying in the hotel close to the Towers and we had not heard from her. No idea if she was ok. Another simply panicked and ran. We later learned that he headed for the water where he caught a ferry to New Jersey.

What I didn't know at the time was that my parents were seeing this on TV, as well as my wife, as well as my children at their school. Needless to say, the family was very concerned if not a bit hysterical. There was no way to reach me, nor me to reach them. Of the 3, my apartment was in Battery Park - totally inaccessible at this time as that area is right across from the Twin Towers. Another was from New Jersey - not sure how to get there. The third was our immediate manager and lived on Long Island. So we decided to get there if possible.

We walked for about 2 hours to get to a major train station far enough away to still be open. So we headed to his house. Once there, I was finally able to call home and tell everyone that I was ok, what was happening, and where I would be. With everything closed down, including airports, I was a guest of my manager for several days until I could finally fly home. By then, the airports looked liked a military zone. Armed military were everywhere. Security was unreal.

The catastrophe of 9/11 impacted America to the core. It was obvious, we were no longer living in the same America.