It All Came Tumbling Down

Angie Vasquez, Guest Writer

It seemed no more people were coming down or up. The Fire had become more intense and the smoke had become thicker making it harder to breath. I have to get out of here for my mother and sister, I just hope Lucile got out in time.


I, Sara Harvey, was 25 a recent graduate with a major in Computer sciences along with my best friend Lucile. Finding a job proved hard, but my determination to help my family was stronger. My present worry was to help pay my mom’s medical bills while also paying for my sister to study in her dream college, just like my mother had done for me. After months of searching, Lucile and I were both hired under the software developing department in the World Trade Center. The WTC was full of opportunities for people like me and it had become a source of pride for all New Yorkers, even those who didn’t work there.


September 11, 2001 started as a beautiful sunny morning in New York City. Like every day, I listened to You Rock my World on my MP3 player as I took the subway to Manhattan. As usual the lobby was filled with visitors getting through the security system, an implement since the bombing attack in 1993. It took me a while to get through the lobby and I was running late for a meeting scheduled that morning at 8:20AM in the North tower. I took the Express elevator which was the quickest way to the 78th  floor.


I had been in the meeting for about 26 minutes when suddenly a loud explosion was heard and every thing in the room started to move as if a great force was shaking it. Everyone ran to the windows to try to figure out what was going on. We saw piles of papers, pagers, and other office supplies falling to the ground. Immediately we knew something was wrong and we had to get out of there. Our boss took the initiative shouting,

“Every one stay together, move as quickly out of the building! Let’s go! Let’s go!”

He seemed nervous, which didn’t help anyone calm down. The halls were crowded with terrified employees and loud screams, but in the midst of all the yelling I heard some shout,

“Go to the stairs, the elevators aren’t working!”

We started rushing down the stairs when someone tapped me on the shoulder. He was out of breath, sweating, and his arm was bleeding. I turned back and saw everyone else had kept walking. As he tried to catch his breath I asked him if he was ok or if he needed any help.

“Yes, I need help,” he said, “there’s someone trapped upstairs.”

“Don’t worry,” I told him, “but let me wrap your arm first.” I knew basic medical skills from the nurses at the hospital who taught me when my mom was there. As I pulled out a scarf from my bag to wrap his bloody arm, a bunch of fire fighters started coming up the stairs. He told me he was a visitor and that his name was Jacob. He informed me that 1 plane had crashed into the north tower and another in the south tower leaving many people badly hurt and probably dead, and some had even jumped off the building trying to escape the flames. Only a couple like him escaped, but as he was coming down trying exit the building he heard a person yelling for help. Part of a walls’s structure had collapsed and a person was trapped behind it, and that was why Jacob came down looking for help.

Once I had finished wrapping his arms we ran up the stairs, but the higher we went the more an awful stench became stronger and the more the heat became intense. The 80th floor was full with people bleeding and screaming in agony from the gruesome burns. Those who weren’t badly hurt tried to help the fire fighters get the injured out of the building. At that moment I remembered, Lucile! Where was she? I had seen her come in the morning but now she was no where to be seen, I just hope she is ok. We got to where the person, who I later found out was Allison, was trapped. With the help of a fire fighter we managed to free her, but the way down was not much easier. We slowly carried her, each taking turns. As we got to the 5th floor I notice no one was coming down or up, the heat from the fire was becoming more intense and we all started coughing from the smoke entering our lungs. We knew we had little time left and if we were going to make out alive we needed to hurry up.


By the time we reached the 1st floor Allison had fainted because she was having trouble breathing. A group of medics came to us and carried her away to be treated.

“Hurry let’s go, the building can collapse any minute now”

Jacob and I ran and didn’t look back until we heard a huge crumbling sound. I turned around and saw a ring of smoke and fire surrounding the buildings start to descending along with it.

“Get down!”

I bent down, covered my head, and shut my eyes tightly. A huge breeze of dust and wind came over everyone near the WTC.


Seconds later, I slowly got up, and as I looked to the right, I saw Lucile laying on a medical bed. I was about to run over when I saw the medic cover her face with a sheet. I knew exactly what that meant. As the tears rolled down my cheeks I wished this was a nightmare from which I could wake up. I though, these dead and burned bodies, all, all were once alive and they had families, who could have done such a heartless act. Who?



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FEMA.(2001). File: 911-FEMA- Areas debris impact (graphic). png.

Taylor, Alan. (2011, September 8). 9/11: The Day of the Attacks.