‘No words’

One woman’s frightful story of watching the Twin Towers fall

The day started as another bright, normal, Brooklyn day for Annette Mann as she dressed her daughter Imyiah for school. After getting ready with her daughter, Mann travelled to work where she meets with employees about stocking merchandise in a warehouse. Listening to Kiss 98.7 FM at her desk, she overheard a plane had crashed into the Twin Towers. Stunned, her and a co-worker went to look out the warehouse window to validate the information she heard.They stood and watched a plane fly around the Twin Towers before crashing into the top.

“We’re both standing there like ‘Oh my God, did that just happen’?” Mann said. “Meanwhile, we’re just staring at the Twin Towers and it’s smoking. Maybe after about 10 minutes or so, both buildings just crumbled. They fell down. They went straight down. They just crumbled down.”

Despite co-workers telling her she should not leave, Mann knew she had to get her daughter from daycare. The subway trains stopped running and overcrowded buses refused to let anyone on, so she started walking with the crowd across the Brooklyn Bridge.

“People were walking with one shoe on, ripped pantyhose, and white colored looking powder on their face,” Mann said. “Everyone looked so scared and afraid. People were bleeding, their clothes were ripped, some not even knowing where they were going.”

After, five hours of walking, she arrives at her daughter’s daycare with no shoes on.

“I grabbed Imiyah and hugged her so tightly,” Mann said. “I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t contact my family and they couldn’t contact me. There were so many people outside we didn’t know what to do.”

They returned to their house, grabbing everything out of the refrigerator and freezer, and began walking to the first family member’s house they could find – her father-in-law’s. The family got together and began grilling whatever food they could find and listening to the radio, trying to find out what happened. A confirmation: two planes had crashed into the Twin Towers.

“People were said to be jumping out the buildings,” Mann said. “People’s families were lost. They didn’t know if they were alive or not. It was very scary, and this tragedy went on for so many days.”

Citizens from all over the nation felt the unease that the attack gave off for days. Life in New York couldn’t go back to normal as volunteer firefighters, nurses, doctors, police officers and construction workers helped at ground zero, aiding in clean-up and gathering up the deceased.

“I felt like we would never live a normal life again,” Mann said. “It took a long while before life in New York began again. So on this day that will that will never be forgotten, I honor every citizen of New York City: firefighters, police officers homeless, nurses, doctors, paramedics, construction workers, soldiers, every family member of someone that was lost for all of their committed time to the city. We all needed each other, and we were all there for each other. For all of the lives that were lost there is no words that can describe the feeling, the sound of 9/11 or any day after.”