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I Remember: NY1 Engineer Juan De la Cruz Recalls 9/11 Attacks

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As part of NY1's coverage of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, NY1 Engineer Juan De la Cruz discusses his memories of the attacks of September 11, 2001.

I remember driving home from my night shift on September 11. It was around 5:30 a.m. as I drove up Chambers Street from the West Side Highway. I drove through the Brooklyn Bridge for I lived in Carroll Gardens. I got home that day and went to sleep.

A few hours later my sleep was interrupted by a phone call. My friend called me and told me to turn on the TV and to check out the breaking news. I then saw the South Tower on fire and in smoke. I could not believe it so I ran to my window to see it for myself. It was even more shocking to see the South Tower burning from my bedroom window.

With all this excitement going on I could not get back to sleep. Then minutes later the North Tower got hit by another hijacked plane. This is when I got dressed and went outside to talk with neighbors.

As I walked up Warren Street I noticed ashes from the burning towers covering the cars. I also saw burnt debris coming down like confetti. Even the air all around me smelled like burnt materials. It felt like I walked out into some kind battlefield.

As I continued to walk to Court Street I looked down and found some burnt money on the floor. I picked it up and I started to wonder who did it belonged too – was it the people on the plane or the people inside the towers?

It’s now 2011 and I still have this piece of evidence and history as a reminder of what I saw and experienced on that day.

–Juan De la Cruz

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