|Carmen Taylor/AP file photo|
By Pamela Rodriguez
Me: Hey, it is nice to sit with you today and speak to you.
Damaris: Hey, Pamela, It is also nice to speak with you.
Me: I have a few questions about September 11, 2001.
Damaris: yes, what can I answer for you.
Me: As I am aware, you were supposed to go into work the morning everything happened, correct?
Damaris: yes, that morning I woke up like any other day. I got ready for my commute, I got on the train to head downtown into my office.
Me: When were you aware of what was going on?
Damaris: Well, I got into the train about 7 am, everything was fine at that point. I became aware of what was going on the minute I walked out of the train station.
Me: What was your reaction?
Damaris: Everything was so confusing, I didn’t know what was going on. All I know is that I got out the train and in front of me was a building covered with smoke. My first thought was my family. I knew they were worried so I got in contact with my husband and told him I was ok.
Me: What did you do next?
Damaris: Well, I thought I was going to be able to go into work, considering my building was a couple blocks down. I guess you can say I was a bit in denial of the situation. As I headed to work the next airplane crashed into the second tower; that’s when I knew it was real. It hit me and it hit everyone around me, I saw everyone’s faces. We all knew people in those buildings. Who did this? Was it an accident? Those were the questions running through my head. I went the way back home and headed for the train when I realized they had shut down. At that point I was stuck in the city and I knew my family was worried.
Me: What did you proceed to do?
Damaris: I called my husband, let him know where I was; at that point they were directing us to walk towards the bridge. Everyone was crying, lost, confused, asking questions and feeling out of explanations. I just prayed and hoped that by night time I would be home.
Me: What time did you finally make it home?
Damaris: It was about 9 night time. I was so lost. I had seen way too many things that day to consider putting it together. I remember sitting on my ride back home with my husband quiet, looking out the window at the city I loved being broken. You felt it in the air, everything had changed.
Me: What was it like getting home?
Me: Were your other family members there?
Damaris: Yes, my mother and my daughter. I hugged and kissed them and went to bed. I showered and laid in bed and felt lost but grateful.
Me: How do you remember this day today?
Damaris: I remember it as a day when my life changed. The perspective I had changed. Nothing was the same anymore. I appreciated my family more, and simply being safe.